Activity --- 2021 Summary
In 2021, I’ve worked to align the use of my time with things I believe that matter. So, moving to my own update, l want to start with thanks for all who have provided input and inspiration. Special thanks to the many of you who generously and successfully nominated me to the biannual Thinkers50 list. It is quite an honour to be in the handful of noted management thinkers, and while it’s not a popularity contest, your nominations were essential to putting me there. So, here’s detail on work in advisor, speaking and exceed, policy and research in case you’re curious.
On the advisory side, work with Evolution Ltd, where I am the Lead Advisor, has been progressing apace. The year began with a project for an Asian Big Tech and a report on the impact of Big Tech regulation in the EU and ended with the launch of an ambitious project for the leadership of Lavazza in collaboration with Spring Studios to shape their “Lavazza experience ecosystem”. An ecosystem development framework, drawing on previous Evolution Ltd work is forthcoming in California Management Review (thoughts/reactions welcome!). I’ve also enjoyed the opportunity to engage with a number of C-level friends in LBS’s new “Gaining Ecosystem Advantage” series. Other projects in the works focus on the intersection of digital and physical ecosystems and strategic redesign in Europe and beyond. Recent work on “free form competition,” “experiential bundles” and gamification are forthcoming! With BCG’s BHI, where I serve as an Academic Advisor, beyond AI, to continue our “buzzword debunking,” we have a project slated for 2022 that will look at what the metaverse really comes down to, and how it combines with data regulation to shape the prospects for large corporates.
With most keynotes, talks and panels occurring virtually, I have enjoyed the challenge and possibilities of preparing material and presenting to HBR on adapting to a post-covid world, MIT Technology Review on the ecosystem development framework, the World Marketing Summit on free-form competition, AACSB Deans’ EMEA meeting on the future of Business Schools, the Global Drucker Forum on entrepreneurship and society and organization (in-person and virtual!), and events in different geographies. Executive development clients have been wide ranging, from Sber to Ericsson, and Bridgestone to BAT, giving me the opportunity to work with senior executives and large corporates to weigh changes in their environments and articulate a change agenda for their company.
On the policy side it’s been a thrill to see my research used in EU and OECD regulatory discussions, to submit testimony to the US Senate Subcommittee hearings on App competition, and to be involved in crafting the new law on digital competition in Greece, where I also serve as the Chief Digital Economy Expert of the Competition Commission. I had the opportunity to engage further with the regulatory community by writing for the Stigler Centre/U of Chicago, speaking for Concurrences and the Digital Markets Forum, and by being interviewed for Competition Policy International.
Research-wise, old papers came to fruition and new papers arose. I was delighted to find out that the 2018 paper on ecosystems with Carmelo Cennamo and Annabelle Gawer in the Strategic Management Journal topped the “most read” list – and it’s stayed there since this spring. My work with Nicola Cetorelli, head of Financial Intermediation for the New York Fed, was finally out in December’s SMJ, and we hope that its companion research will be out soon. If time allows, we might also delve into the dynamics of the buzzword-filled world of DeFi, crypto and blockchain, bridging strategy with regulation (similar to the StraSci paper on AI). Together with Nina Teng, I am expanding beyond our in-depth case study of Grab to explore the emergence and risks of SuperApps. The special issue of Industrial and Corporate Change on Regulating Platforms and Ecosystems, which I co-edited with Yiannis Lianos, was just out. This work built on a workshop we co-organized with the World Economic Forum just before COVID took over all focus back in 2020.
Finally, passion projects also move ahead. I continue to press on in Greece, where I’ve been involved in helping push for policies and projects relating to environmental conservation, sustainable tourism, the preservation of this unique country (and countryside). Along with serving as a strategy advisor for ELLET, Greece’s premier NGO, this means I write a lot of OpEds (mostly for Kathimerini, the Greek NYTimes affiliate) and engage with the Government as best I can.
With 2021 behind us and 2022 under way, I am hopeful that this year will be full, exciting, yet somehow also balanced. May it contain the seeds for positive change both personally and professionally, and may it offer the opportunity to reconnect – virtually or in person. In the meanwhile, stay safe, stay healthy.
With all my best wishes,