Economic Geographies of the Platform Economy: Current Research Perspectives and Avenues for Future Research (06.03.- 07.03.2023)

Call for Participation: Early Career Researcher Workshop 

In the past decade, platform economies have emerged in numerous spheres of life. As social and economic relations have become mediated digitally, new forms of digital labour management and organisation have emerged (Grabher/van Tuij 2020; Kenney/Zysman 2019; Woodcock/Graham 2019).

There is a lively debate on how digital platforms change economic and social relations across different disciplines. Sociological perspectives on labour, for example, focus on forms of algorithmic management techniques and their impact on the labour process (Griesbach et al. 2019; Heiland 2021). Communication and media scholars examine what role class, race and gender play in workers’ everyday experience of platform work (van Doorn/Vijay 2021; Gebrial 2022). Urban geography and urban sociology hone in on the importance of urban space and cities’ transformation under ‘platform urbanism’ (Ecker/ Strüver 2022; Strüver/Bauriedl 2022).

We would like to discuss these current developments in the platform economy from a decidedly economic-geographical perspective. The aim of the workshop is to connect researchers from economic geography and related disciplines, to identify current research gaps and questions and to develop an (economic) geographic research agenda on the platform economy. To this end, we invite 15 early career researchers (PhD students, postdocs, assistant professors, etc.) to come to Berlin to think through the following questions and themes together:

  1. Social reproduction, care crisis, domestic work: How does the platform economy change the social organisation of social reproduction? How is care work spatially and socially restructured in the platform economy?
  1. Feminisation, (inf)formalisation: In what ways does the gendering of work and spaces shape working conditions in the platform economy?
  1. Migration infrastructures, visa regimes: What role do migration policies play for the constitution of the platform economy? How do migrants use this form of labour as part of their migratory projects? How do platforms enable or disable mobilities?
  1. ‘Multiplication of labour’, contingent labour: In what way do platform economies produce more diverse and intense forms of labour exploitation? What changes in the spatial and social composition of the working class can be observed in platform economies?
  1. Algorithmic labour control, digital taylorisation, digital proletarisation: How do the forms of digital labour control differ across the platform economy? In what ways do they change existing labour relations and workforces?
  1. Platform urbanism: What are the implications of the dissolution of the unity of enterprise, space and labour for the production of urban spaces?
  1. Regulation, organising, labour struggles: What forms and strategies of asserting workers’ interests can be observed? To what extent is a new mode of regulation emerging that corresponds to the digital production model?
  1. Value chains: How are platforms changing power relations, organisation and geographies of existing value chains, e.g. in retail or logistics? What new value chains are emerging around digital platforms?

The workshop is funded by the Connex Programme of the Dr Hans Riegel Foundation. (Partial) funding for travel expenses is available. The workshop will be held in English.

We look forward to receiving your application by 15.12.2022. Please use this form (below) to send your application. 

If you have any questions, please contact barbara.orth (at)


Barbara Orth
Isabella Stingl
Tatiana López
Yannick Ecker


The deadline for applications expired on 15/12/2022. We’ll get back to all applicants soon.