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Cloud Empires: How digital platforms are overtaking the state and how we can regain control.

With Professor Vili Lehdonvirta
Date & Time:
17:30 - 19:00,
Tuesday 25 October, 2022
Cheng Kar Shun Digital Hub
How to attend:
Register now


The early Internet was a lawless place, populated by scam artists who made buying or selling anything online risky business. Then companies like Amazon, eBay and Apple established secure digital platforms for selling physical goods, crowdsourcing labour, and downloading apps.

These tech giants have gone on to rule the Internet, but how did this happen? How did entrepreneurs, users and workers become the hapless subjects of online economic empires? The Internet was supposed to liberate us from powerful institutions.

Vili Lehdonvirta, digital economy expert, Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College and author of a ground-breaking new book on the subject – Cloud Empires: How digital platforms are overtaking the state and how we can regain control (MITPress, 2022) – explores the rise of the platform economy into state-like dominance over our lives and proposes a new way forward.

This event is part of the Jesus College Cheng Kar Shun Digital Hub events programme and is hosted by Quentin Cooper, science broadcaster and journalist, and former presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Material World.

This event will take place in Jesus College’s Cheng Kar Shun Digital Hub. Entrance on Market Street, Oxford. This venue is accessible from ground floor, and lifts are provided. If you would like to contact us with your accessibility requirements, please email

Suitable for ages 14+

Doors open at 17.15.

Refreshments provided.

Hosted in collaboration with the IF Oxford Science + Ideas Festival 2022.


Please register for this event on Eventbrite.