Platform Economy - Opportunities and Risks for Good Work 
and the Common Good


Documentation Launch event ver.di Online-Talk <digital ver.eint>, 17th November 2021



Whether it is the provision of food, media, and medicine or the placement of work, services, and mobility - digital platforms have become an essential part of our daily lives. It is not surprising that the topic of digitization plays a key role in the negotiations on a new German government coalition. Platforms give us new freedoms and at the same time restrict us. Online platforms penetrate more and more areas of life that involve social participation, democracy, and basic services. They effectively create new public infrastructures - but are in the hands of private corporations.

The kick-off of our new Online Talks series will raise and examine the following issues:

  • How can governments’ responsibility to provide services of general interest be maintained in the context of the "platform society"? What new responsibilities and functions arise for the public sector?
  • How can we counter platform monopolies and strengthen democratic governance?
  • What steps must be taken to make these new basic infrastructures secure and resistant to abuse?
  • How can the data generated on private platforms be made socially useful and at the same time guarantee data protection rights of citizens as well as employees?
  • How can we avoid the expansion of precarious work and instead create good working conditions with legal and social protection? How can co-determination and freedom of association be achieved for platform work?

Presentations will be given by leading experts who will also be available for discussion in German as well as in English (see programme below).

Online Talks is designed for politicians, administrators, researchers, academics, network policy and technical experts, trade unionists, works and staff councils, employees and the self-employed as well as tech workers in various sectors in Germany and abroad.

The event is supported by the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) and INPUT Consulting GmbH.

Please note:
The online talk will be recorded (video conference and livestream) and made available online afterwards. In the event of participation with words and pictures, we assume that you agree to the recording and publication.



Chaired by: Dr. Julia Kropf

14:30 Opening
Michael Fischer and Annette Mühlberg,
Policy and Planning, ver.di National Office

14:35 Presentation
Trade union policy principles for the digitization of work and society

Frank Werneke,
President, ver.di

14:45 Presentation and discussion
Digital platforms as infrastructures for services of general interest?

Prof. Dr. Christoph Busch,

Maître en Droit, Chair of German and European Private and Commercial Law; Private International Law University of Osnabrück

15:05 Presentation and discussion
Digital platforms - urgently needed: a security and data protection update

Marit Hansen,
State Commissioner for Data Protection of Schleswig-Holstein

15:25 Presentation and discussion
Power Shifts of the Platform Economy: Challenge for Good Digital Work and the Common Good

Prof. Dr. Philipp Staab,
Humboldt-University of Berlin and Einstein Center Digital Future

15:45 Framing the issues for the open discussion
Trade union requirements for good work in the platform economy

Dr. Nadine Müller
Head of Innovation and Good Work, ver.di National Office

15:50 Open Discussion
What's next? Concrete recommendations for action
Gemeinsame Diskussion

16:25 Conclusion & Outlook

Michael Fischer and Annette Mühlberg

Policy and Planning, ver.di National Office

16:30 End of event