Platform Economies Research Network (PERN)

ADM+S is collaborating with the Platform Economies Research Network (PERN) — a network that focuses on the socio-technical bases of platform economies.

The Platform Economies Research Network (PERN) focuses specifically on the materiality of digital platforms and the forms of value they generate. The collaboration is based on the conviction that social scientists must learn about the architectures and operations of digital technologies as a fundamental aspect of their research. Digital infrastructures are often investigated in ways that assume a divide between “the technical” and “the social.” In contrast, PERN articulates questions that bring the technical and the social into one frame. Through sustained collaboration, our goal is to gain new competencies and innovative methods for empirical research into core aspects of computational technologies and infrastructures that generate value.

PERN members conduct programmatic research on a variety of digital platforms and processes to gain insight into how data becomes a value form. These platforms include information infrastructures and computational technologies (eg. cloud-based services); new financial technologies (eg. fintech); and emerging practices for automated pricing, taxation, and risk assessment.

PERN is international and interdisciplinary with members spanning the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and East Asia; and includes scholars from anthropology, economic sociology, historical studies, information science, political science, and media studies. PERN was founded in New York at The New School in 2018 as a reading group focused on different aspects of platform economies.

The Network hosts regular online meetings that are devoted to open-ended discussion of works-in-progress including members’ fieldwork materials, research findings, recent publications, as well as industry reports and analyses from computing, management studies, and business administration. They also run a regular live-streamed Salon series that seek to foster exchange between academia and industry.

A series of workshops and a summer intensive program will launch in 2023.