“…threats and opportunities at social, political and economic level that are, at this stage, not yet fully analyzed and understood.”

PLUS project represents for SUPSI an important driver to work, through a research-action perspective, on topics of utmost relevance for the institution and for the researchers engaged. Dealing on platform economy framed in urban context allows to inquire into the urban setting itself, shedding light on how the platform economy influences the development of the city, which implications are reflected on the labour market and which aspects of citizenship are entangled in this “structural” change of the urban fabric.

These subjects are nodes in which SUPSI, in particular through the Department of economics, health and social sciences, is particularly devoting a specific research activity with its Competence Centre Labour, Welfare and Social Research, in particular through the Research Area UrCLab — Urbanscapes, Citizenship and Labour.

Platform economy implies a transformation of a huge set of business activities thanks to digital technologies. This implies threats and opportunities at social, political and economic level that are, at this stage, not yet fully analyzed and understood. The challenges of the project, that SUPSI wants to share and contribute in, are concerned with: set-up a theoretical understanding of the platform economy, framing its development both as a disruptive event and as a long-time and multi-level process, keeping as observation angle the urban setting; explore alternative scenarios, or improved conditions, of labour organization in the platform companies, co-constructing knowledge, training support and proposals in the field; highlight the larger social, political and economic impacts of the platform economy on workers but also on society, especially on urban spaces and city users; facilitate the improvement of labor conditions, increase awareness and strengthen the role of citizens of the workers in the platform economy.

Within the PLUS project, SUPSI will focus its attention on the co-construction of training support for the various actors involved in platform economy. Expected results, setting-up of a Community of practice and a structure of training program contents; a MOOC addressed to workers and professionals operating in the platform economy environment; a research report on new skills for platform economy and about the emerging scenarios fostered by the training program.

Also focus on addressing the conceptualization of the platforms under a legislative, economic and historical dimension. SUPSI is particularly engaged in deepening the historical aspect of the meaning and implication of platform economy by developing a genealogy of the industrial revolutions.