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Reshaping Vehicle and Mobility Ecosystems: Mapping the terrain for strategists, regulators and academics

November 14 & 15, 2017: Invitation-only Workshop organized by the London Business School


Supported by LBS’ Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Higher Education Investment Fund and the Program for Vehicle and Mobility Innovation (PVMI), Mack Institute for Innovation Management, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

The transformation of the mobility sector - encompassing not only the automotive sector (incumbent OEMs; Tesla) and new entrants from the technology sector, e.g. Google’s Waymo but also the providers of mobility services, e.g. Uber, Lyft, Didi, Zipcar, car2go, blablacar – has captured the attention of established incumbents, aspiring entrepreneurs, analysts/consultants, policy makers and activists.

After a long period of stability, the automotive sector, and, perhaps more important, the broader ecosystem where this sector is embedded, is going through a period of rapid and drastic change. The confluence of new technologies (autonomous driving, electric cars, connectivity within and across vehicles and with the cloud), new business models (usage-based “mobility-as-a-service” as opposed to leasing and full ownership), and the evolution of societal needs has caused considerable ferment and excitement for mobility “ecosystems”.

This excitement has led to a vast outpouring of venture capital and R&D investment by the private sector, partly motivated by staggering valuations of new ventures such as Tesla and Uber, and leading to new entries virtually by the day. In response, governments are considering their strategies in providing complementary infrastructure to advance public policy goals for mobility (including more safety, fewer accidents and deaths, less congestion, and reduced pollution) while reconsidering virtually all aspects of how vehicle testing/validation, ownership and use are regulated. It has also led to an increased appreciation of the significance of mobility experiences as sources of value at the intersection with other sectors, from healthcare to food delivery.

Yet this unusual era of ferment has, so far, provided us with more excitement (and, at times, hype) than understanding. This places us in a unique time, where a structured collaboration between engaged academics and practitioners could yield fruits for all involved. From the practitioner side, we will aim to move beyond the excitement of the buzz of the current moment and provide a framework on how to think about the complex web of interrelated changes. These discussions will help elucidate the changing boundaries and structures of sectors; emergence and operation of ecosystems in interrelated segments; the structure of business models in quickly shifting environments; the current patterns of value creation, migration, and appropriation.

A better, deeper mapping of this complicated set of changes that combines a view on strategic repositioning, regulatory changes and the engagement of civic society can yield a clearer narrative to communicate to all these actors. This narrative, in turn, can help provide a basis for dialogue that can advance progress on common goals and support needed debate where interests diverge. Finally, this workshop will help separating the substance from the hype on “ecosystems,” as applied to mobility. We are pleased to be bringing together an international set of participants with a wide range of perspectives for what we anticipate will be a most stimulating two days.


Tuesday, November 14: Mapping the Terrain for Vehicle and Mobility Ecosystems

  • Session 1: Introduction to the Workshop: From Retrospect to Prospect and the Role of Ecosystems

    Michael G Jacobides, LBS (and John Paul MacDuffie, Wharton/PVMI)

    Video of the session

    In this introductory session, we will consider how the automotive sector changed, how it has resisted change, and how value migrated (or not) as a result. We highlight the role of structure- a key consideration that will shape the sector’s future. We then move to prospect, articulating recent changes, such as broadening of the sector to encompass mobility. We also highlight ways in which new services and technologies are starting to form ecosystems, so as to motivate the workshop and outline our approach.

  • Session 2: Why is Mobility the Big New Ecosystem?

    Juergen Reers, Accenture; Alex MacKenzie-Torres, Toyota Research Institute; Martin Bruncko, Steam Capital; facilitated by JP MacDuffie, Wharton.
    François Ortalo-Magné, Dean, LBS

    After a brief welcome by our Dean, our opening panel explores what lies behind the recent upsurge of excitement with mobility. Why such excitement and funding galore? Which are the unmet customer needs that make mobility so special? What are the underlying enabling technologies both within and outside the world of vehicles propelling such optimism? Is it vehicle technology advances, new smartphone-enabled business models, fundamental price/performance improvements, environmental and social push, or just investors seeking the next unicorn? Where are the boundaries between hype and reality?

  • Coffee Break

    Garden Room

  • Session 3: One or Multiple Mobility Ecosystems? What will the Mobility Ecosystem Strategic Dynamics look like and Why?


    Nikolaus Lang, BCG; Jörg Lamparter, Daimler; Philippe Colpron, Wabco; Alessandro di Fiore, ECSi; facilitated by MG Jacobides, LBS.


    Starting with some research on what ecosystems are and how they differ from traditional sectors, this session will consider what the potential shape and structure of the future mobility ecosystem will look like. We will consider the perspective of OEMs, key suppliers, and consultants to help us map what may emerge in the mobility ecosystem space- in terms of retail and commercial vehicles: Will it be dominated by a few large players? Do we think there are network externalities or customer stickiness which will empower the dominant players in each part of the value chain? Are the assumptions behind the stratospheric valuations of firms like Uber reasonable? Will the OEMs manage to defend their turf? What do we expect the strategic dynamics to be like, within the production value chain and in the broader mobility ecosystem?

  • Lunch

    Garden Room.

    Discussion Tables (Topics to match morning session themes - see attached list and instructions on table allocations).

    Facilitators: MG Jacobides, LBS; JP MacDuffie, Wharton; M Sako, Oxford; D Keith, MIT; F. Veloso, Imperial; M. Stevens, Erasmus, V. Atluri, McKinsey & Co

  • Post-lunch Debrief

    Group feedback on lunch conversation, plenary discussion, and next steps for research

  • Session 4: Who Will Orchestrate Vehicle & Mobility Ecosystem(s)?

    Tech vs. Auto vs. Coalitions

    Kevin Reynolds, Ford; Hubert Lalanne, IBM; Elisa Balestra, GSMA; Nick Reed, Bosch; facilitated by David Keith, MIT.

    We are now starting to understand some of the coordination challenges in terms of vehicles, autonomous and electrical driving infrastructure, but also communication and the host of other complementary services. This panel will consider both what are the main issues at hand, and, more to the point, what will be the organizational structures that will dominate. Will collaborative solutions be subsumed by large, vertical integrated (even if new-age) automobile OEMs? Will the leadership of orchestration shift from OEM to innovative suppliers? Will technology firms or other specialized participants take the lead? Who will drive software development in cars? How will this drive sector dynamics? What will we see in different national contexts, e.g. China where governments (central, regional, city) are likely to play a direct orchestrating role?

  • Coffee Break

    Garden Room

  • Session 5: Who Will Shape (and Contest the Shape of) Vehicle & Mobility Ecosystems?


    Central Governments vs. Cities vs. Civil Society vs. Corporate Coalitions

    Iain Forbes, Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles; Charles Fine MIT/ASB; Michael Hurwitz, Transport for London; Eric Thun, Oxford; facilitated by Francesco Zirpoli, University of Venice

    How will these new ecosystems be governed? We will start by considering the long-term adaptation of the automotive sector to the new dynamics of mobility, focusing in particular on how the sector may be governed. The panel will delve further into the systemic challenges we face, with different actors focusing on different objectives. Firms (or industry groups) would want to create bottlenecks to capture value and/or improve their plight. Central governments want to stimulate value creation, prevent undue dominance and improve the environmental footprint. China’s push on Electric Vehicles is notable in this regard. Cities want to gain an edge improving transport overall, stimulating innovation, and equalizing access. How will these pressures combine as we see ecosystem dynamics unfold? Who will be calling the shots and what will be the shape of ecosystem governance to come?

  • Day Wrap-up

    Michael G Jacobides, LBS and John Paul MacDuffie, Wharton.

  • Trip :Routemaster Bus to Reform Club

    An opportunity to experience a 1950’s double-deck Routemaster en route to Pall Mall

  • Drinks and Dinner: Reform Club, 104 Pall Mall

    Drinks 18:45; Dinner 19:15
    The Reform Club ( is one of the most architecturally impressive of London’s private membership Clubs founded by the supporters of constitutional reform in the 1830’s. This is the place where, in the early days of excitement with mobility, Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg, a fictional member, set the bet for the trip around the world in 80 days. Actual members include Henry James, H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Beveridge, Kiri Te Kanawa, Camilla Parker-Bowles and Richard Attenborough. True to form, gentlemen will be required to wear jacket and tie, and ladies equivalent business attire.

Wednesday, November 15: Strategy and Policy Challenges in Shaping Mobility Ecosystems

  • Breakfast

    Garden Room

  • Session 1: Introduction to Workshop Themes

    (review of Day 1; agenda for Day 2)
    John Paul MacDuffie, Wharton

    Video of the session

    This session will introduce the challenges that a diverse set of automotive and mobility participants need to tackle, and also consider the implications of different ways that they can coalesce as they try to do so. It will also introduce the work of the PVMI (and IMVP).

  • Session 2: Getting the customer needs right and managing pilots in ecosystems

    Virginie Boutueil, Sustainable Mobility Institute, Renault-ParisTech; Alex MacKenzie-Torres, Toyota Research Institute; David Wong, SMMT; facilitated by JP MacDuffie, Wharton.

    Given the changes in the ecosystem, consumers have much more choice, and thus power, than they’ve ever had. A key challenge, made harder by the partly decentralized nature of the mobility ecosystem, is the need to understand what customers need (and who customers are), drawing on the ever-increasing opportunities offered by technology. How can firms who participate in such ecosystems, whether on the B2B or B2C side, “get the customer” and what are their greatest challenges in terms of insight, data, and understanding the revealed (mobility) preferences? How can they best structure pilots, trials, test runs to generate new experiences, and / or negotiate for access to Big Data, given the emerging customer landscape? What tools and techniques can help and what holds promise?

  • Coffee break

    Garden Room

    Garden Room

  • Session 3: (City) State as Laboratory: Setting Up Social & Economic Mobility Experiments


    Lisa Füting, Audi; Neil Fulton, Transport Catapult; Andreas Mai, Keolis NA; facilitated by Mari Sako, Oxford.

    Given the standards issues covered in the previous panel, the question becomes: How should we select them? First, at the level of a country, should there be mandate, a tolerance or support for many (if inconsistent) flowers to bloom? When should there be exceptions? How can we encourage experimentation? Moving a level up, how can we manage the international tensions from different systems? Moving a level down, what can we learn from the significant experimentation from the level of the cities, such as the one in Boston that BCG orchestrated, alongside the WEF? How do smaller cities such as Milton Keynes try to experiment? Should we encourage that, or would we benefit from shifting towards a stronger central body (FAA - universal OS); market-based dominant players (Android -open source) or consortia (eg GSM)?

  • Session 4: Getting from here to there: Dealing with organizational history & luggage

    Kevin Reynolds, Ford, Christophe Pineau & Brigitte Courtehoux, PSA, and Mark Platshon,
    Icebreaker Ventures, facilitated by MG Jacobides, LBS.

    This session we will leverage our participants’ insights, considering the strategic and organizational issues in changing ecosystem position, whether as a large company trying to adjust, or as a focused entrant trying to get a foothold in the mobility ecosystem.

  • Lunch

    Garden Room. Discussion Tables (Topics to match morning session themes- see attached list and instructions on table allocations).
    Facilitators: MG Jacobides, LBS; JP MacDuffie, Wharton; M Stevens, Erasmus; F Zirpoli U Venice, M Holweg, Oxford.

  • Post-lunch Debrief

    Group feedback on lunch conversation, plenary discussion, and next steps for research

  • Session 5: Managing Scope: How Deep, how Broad? Organic or via M&A and Alliances?

    Mark Platshon, Icebreaker Ventures; Charles Fine, MIT/ASB; Max Warburton, Sanford Bernstein; Christophe Pineau & Brigitte Courtehoux, PSA (via video) facilitated by MG Jacobides, LBS.

    The discussion on the evolution of ecosystems overall may provide the context for the “map” of where firms will move. But, how do they manage the process? First, what determines the choice of going wide (broadening offerings, such as Uber) as opposed to focusing resources in going deep to gain foothold in given markets (such as Careem, funded by Abraaj)? Relatedly, when should firms fight for control of a part of the value chain, and where should they concentrate their forces? Second, how should incumbents manage their process? Will models such as Tesla’s integrated organization win out, or is Ford showing the way through a mobility subsidiary? How should we evaluate new areas in terms of KPIs and expected Returns? Will incumbents need to draw on new ventures through a new generation of corporate VC, rather than in-house development? Will M&A be a better way to adjust given the ecosystem challenges? And how can the integration be made to work?

  • Coffee break

    Coffee break

  • Session 6: Shaping the Standards: What will (and should) be the Architecture of Mobility?

    Shane Rooney, GSMA; Hardy Groeger, IBM; John Aloy, Telefónica UK; facilitated by Annabelle Gawer, U. Surrey.

    In a changing ecosystem, standards become crucial weapons for dominance. Google is keen to impose OS dominance, leaving some interesting open challenges in terms of what partnering and standards approaches different participants of the ecosystem will want to take. Autonomous Vehicles have a number of interoperability choices (for operating systems and connectivity protocols plus custom vs. standardized lidar, sensors, microprocessors). How does the desire to have a system that “just works” relate or contrast to the desire of key parties to maintain strategic control? Will the effort to keep strategic superiority get in the way of delivering an effective customer solution? How can standards affect this struggle? What is the state of affairs and the choices with regard to V2V, V2I, V2X? How will the legacy of the automobile sector design (which is closed and integral) relate to the templates of the high-tech sector (which is open and modular)? Which type of architecture will win out? What should different types of actors try to do, and what are society’s interests?

  • Wrap-up and future agenda: Where do we go from here, and what research can help?

    Michael G Jacobides, LBS and John Paul MacDuffie, Wharton.

  • Drinks & Nibbles at the Garden Room


  • Research pitches (optional - for academics)

    Room P104/5

    An optional rapid-pitch session of current research projects on ecosystems and
    mobility. Intended for the academics in the room to share research ideas and projects.

  • Dinner (optional - for academics)

    The Electric Club

Lunch Breakout Sessions and Feedback in the Workshop

  • Instructions for Lunch Breakout Sessions:

    Each table has a discussion topic assigned to it; see below for the list of topics on both days. There will be a number of place cards with the discussion topics on them on a table when you enter the room for lunch. Please take a place card for the topic that you are most interested in – this will be your seat at the table, so sit at the table with the matching discussion topic table tent.

    There are a limited number of place cards for each table; once all of the cards have been taken there will be no more seats at the table. Please therefore take your second choice discussion topic and so on until you have a seat.

  • Lunch Breakout Sessions for Tuesday, November 14

    Table 1. (Ecosystem Lens) What is the value at looking at ecosystems in mobility (and more broadly)? What are their boundaries and what is new and exciting about them? Facilitated by V. Atluri, McKinsey & Co/ Merieke Stevens, Erasmus

    Table 2. (Ecosystem Value Migration) Where do we expect to see value migrating from, and where will it migrate to, and why? How will ecosystem dynamics shape value migration? Facilitated by MG Jacobides, LBS

    Table 3. (OEM Dominance?) How can OEMs continue to dominate the automotive world? Facilitated by JP MacDuffie, Wharton

    Table 4. (Tech Co. Dominance?) How can Technology firms disrupt the automotive world? Facilitated by F Veloso, Imperial

    Table 5. (Ecosystem Hype?) How much of the mobility ecosystem excitement and current valuations are hype? Why? Why not? Facilitated by D. Keith, MIT

    Table 6. (Local vs Global?) Will we have a set of local markets or one global mobility marketplace, and why? Facilitated by M. Sako, Oxford

  • Lunch Breakout Sessions for Wednesday, November 15:

    Table 1. (Standards) How will technological standards and the standard-setting process shape the nature of the competitive landscape (in addition to what new services will emerge)? Facilitated by A. Gawer, Sussex

    Table 2. (Make/Buy/Ally in Ecosystems) When should incumbent firms competing within a mobility ecosystem do things themselves (own/vertically integrate) vs. buy (acquisition) vs. ally (coalitions)? When should they set up their own ecosystem vs complement an existing one? Facilitated by MG Jacobides, LBS

    Table 3. (Try-outs) How should cities decide which pilot mobility projects/try-outs to allow and which to block? How can they encourage novelty but not favour particular actors? How should those pilots be designed for maximum benefit to the city? How can cities learn from each other? Facilitated by JP MacDuffie, Wharton

    Table 4. (Societal Priorities) How should societal priorities around public safety, protecting privacy, fair access etc. affect standards for hardware, software, data? Facilitated by F. Zirpoli, U of Venice Ca’ Foscari

    Table 5. (Incumbent Challenges) What are the biggest challenges in becoming an effective mobility ecosystem participant for an incumbent firm? Facilitated by A. Schulze, U of Zurich

    Table 6. (Disruptor Challenges) What are the biggest challenges in becoming an effective mobility ecosystem participant for a disruptor? Facilitated by M Holweg, Oxford

Interaction Tools: Email and website

You can email us at with any open questions, answers or suggestions.

Shortly after the conference we will have a web platform with further information, resources and slides.

Please note that while we will have a video of the introductory sessions (sessions 1 on Tuesday and Wednesday), which we may also put on the site, this workshop will keep with Chatham House Rules, which holds that “participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed”. We hope to have a write-up of the event available soon, duly anonymized. Thanks for helping make this workshop a success!

Panelist, Presenter and Facilitators List

  • Co-organizers

    Michael G Jacobides, Sir Donald Gordon Chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Associate Professor of Strategy, London Business School; Visiting Professor, Imperial; Visiting Scholar, New York Fed

    John Paul MacDuffie, Professor, Management Department; Director, Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation (PVMI), Mack Institute for Innovation Management, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

  • Panelists/Presenters

    Venkat Atluri, Senior Partner, McKinsey & Co (TBC)

    John Aloy, Managing Partner, Telefónica UK Limited

    Elisa Balestra, Senior Strategy Manager, GSMA

    Virginie Boutueil, Deputy Director, IMD (Sustainable Mobility Institute), Renault & ParisTech

    Martin Bruncko, Founder and Managing Partner, Steam Capital

    Philippe Colpron, Digitization Lead, Wabco

    Brigitte Courtehoux, SVP, Head of Connected Services & New Mobility Business Unit, Groupe PSA

    Alessandro di Fiore, Founder and CEO, ECSi Consulting

    Charles Fine, Professor, MIT and Dean, Asia School of Business

    Iain Forbes, Head, Center for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, UK Government

    Neil Fulton, Head, Autonomous Vehicles, Transport Catapult

    Lisa Füting, Deputy Director, Audi Urban Solutions

    Annabelle Gawer, Professor, University of Surrey

    Hardy Groeger, Executive Architect Automotive Industry, IBM

    Matthias Holweg, Professor, Saïd Business School

    Michael Hurwitz, Director for Innovation, Transport for London

    David Keith, Professor, MIT Sloan School

    Hubert Lalanne, Industry Lead for Automotive, IBM Europe

    Jörg Lamparter, Head of Mobility Services, Daimler

    Nikolaus Lang, Senior Partner and WEF Mobility Lead, BCG

    Alex MacKenzie-Torres, Head of Product, Toyota Research Institute

    Andreas Mai, Executive Vice President, Market Development & Innovation, Keolis NA

    François Ortalo-Magné, Dean, London Business School

    Christophe Pineau, SVP, Strategy & Corporate Planning, Groupe PSA

    Mark Platshon, Partner/Founder, Icebreaker Ventures

    Nick Reed, Head of Mobility R&D, Bosch

    Juergen Rees, Managing Director, Accenture

    Kevin Reynolds, Director of Strategy, Ford Europe

    Shane Rooney, IoT/V2x Director, GSMA

    Mari Sako, Professor, Said Business School, Oxford University

    Axel Schmidt, Global Lead, Automotive Practice, Accenture

    Anja Schultze, Professor, U of Zurich

    Merieke Stevens, Professor, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

    Eric Thun, Professor, Said Business School, Oxford University

    Francisco Veloso, Dean, Imperial Business School

    Max Warburton, Vice President, Sanford C. Bernstein

    David Wong, Senior Technology and Innovation Manager, SMMT

    Francesco Zirpoli, Professor, University of Venice


  • Participant List

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