Sustainability Impacts of Digital Platforms

Zoom Research Seminar / 5th Floor EE Lecture 2

Past event — 12 December 2023

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Michael Ntiriakwa

PhD Candidate

Kühne Logistics University - KLU

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Digital platforms, crucial in the current technology-driven era, extend beyond traditional organizational boundaries, creating value through multi-sided connections and influencing societal, economic, environmental, and democratic processes. However, their impact is not unequivocally positive; concerns about consumer lock-in, monopolistic outcomes, datafication's negative effects, and instances of racial discrimination suggest a complex interaction with societal values. Recognizing the critical role of sustainability in this context, the Ph.D. project aims to explore three key areas: the current state of knowledge regarding digital platforms and sustainability, actor interactions with digital platforms in the context of sustainable development, and the influence of digital platforms on sustainable consumer purchasing decisions.
The PhD project comprises three papers: the first conducts a systematic review of the literature to understand the existing discourse around digital platforms and sustainability; the second investigates how various actors, including non-profits, diaspora donors, and entrepreneurs, engage with digital platforms for sustainable development; and the third examines how digital platforms shape consumer behavior towards sustainable products, using the Theory of Planned Behavior as a framework. Together, these studies aim to bridge the knowledge gap, develop a framework for stakeholder engagement in sustainable development via digital platforms, and understand consumer behavior in the context of digital platform-driven sustainability. This research will provide a comprehensive analysis of the intricate relationship between digital platforms and sustainability, contributing significantly to understanding their role in shaping our society, economy, and environment.


Michael Ntiriakwa commenced his PhD studies at Kühne Logistics University on September 1, 2022, under the mentorship of Prof. Dr. Johannes Meuer and Prof. Dr. Christina Raasch. His research ambit encompasses corporate sustainability, waste management, urban planning, and the platform economy, with a particular emphasis on examining the sustainability impact of digital platforms in his doctoral research. He earned his Master of Science in Environmental Management from the Christian Albrecht University of Kiel, Germany. Michael adeptly balances his social and academic pursuits. Prior to joining KLU, he held several leadership roles, notably as President of the Ghana Students’ Association in Kiel, Germany, and as Project Manager for the Ghana Union Kiel Schleswig Holstein (GUKSH – Germany).


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Bärbel Wegener

Assistant to Resident Faculty