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Vili Lehdonvirta

Digital social scientist

I am extremely interested in new technologies like automation, cloud computing, and digital platforms, and how they reshape our economies. What are the implications to us as citizens, workers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers? I carry out research on these topics at the Oxford Internet Institute, where my title is Professor of Economic Sociology and Digital Social Research. I’m also a Senior Research Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford.

In my research I combine traditional social science methods with new data science approaches and technical know-how. I previously worked at the London School of Economics, the University of Tokyo, and the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology. I’ve advised policy makers as a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on the Online Platform Economy and the High-Level Expert Group on Digital Transformation and EU Labour Markets. I was born in Finland and worked as a software developer before embarking on a career in academia.

I’ve authored two books on new technologies and their socio-economic implications: “Cloud Empires: How Digital Platforms Are Overtaking the State and How We Can Regain Control” (MIT Press 2022) and “Virtual Economies: Design and Analysis” (MIT Press 2014).