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  • Writer's pictureThe NTWK

Navigating the Future: Building Purpose-Driven Business Ecosystems and Online Communities

As the world becomes more interconnected and the needs of societies, companies and consumers grow in complexity and quality, the concepts of business ecosystems and communities have gained immense prominence. Successful business ecosystems and (online) communities need to be founded on shared purpose and goals that tie the participants together and are characterized by collaboration; working together with others to create value. This way they redefine relationships and structures through which value is delivered and are redrawing company and industry boundaries.

This chapter of #TheNTWKSummit23Report provides an in-depth exploration of business ecosystems and communities, examining their benefits, opportunities, and challenges - and giving insights and practical tools to design and implement them. It is clear that purpose-driven and collaborative ecosystems and communities will play a crucial role in our future economies.

Top 6 Key Takeaways for Business Ecosystems

1) Business Ecosystems enable more comprehensive, customer centric and integrated services with outstanding end-to-end customer experience. They can help businesses tap into new sources of value and wider scale fast.

2) It is crucial to ensure that value is provided to all parties in the business ecosystem and decisions are anchored around value.

3) True partnerships are essential, while challenging to realise. Agreeing on collaboration structures and roles early increase chances for success.

4) Ecosystems should start small with a “minimum viable ecosystem” and build out over time, pivoting together where needed.

5) Becoming a successful ecosystem orchestrator needs to be earned, typically requiring a scarce resource such as a brand, capability or asset that the other participants do not have and are not aiming to develop.

6) Embracing an ecosystem mindset requires a shift in traditional business practices, metrics, language, and risk management approaches to support collaborative efforts.

"The outdated mentality of one company needing to triumph over all others is behind us. Today, no single company will be able to fulfill the complex expectations of customers. Developing an ecosystem mindset is crucial. Ecosystems serve as strategic drivers for growth and unlock immense potential for organizations willing to adopt this perspective,” shared Miriam van Straelen, Partner at Roland Berger.

Top 4 Key Takeaways for (Online) Communities

1) Clear purpose, goals and values help individuals to find and join the community, and guide the community-building efforts.

2) Engagement in community can be fostered by a culture of belonging. This can be achieved by consistent and meaningful member experiences.

3) It is crucial to offer both online and in-person interactions with various ways to interact.

4) Offering variety of opportunities to contribute to the community and allowing co-creation contributes to a thriving community.


Discover the latest trends in ecosystems and communities by downloading #TheNTWKSummit23Report and reading the articles:

  • "Successful Ecosystem Strategies", by Ron Adner, Professor Tuck School / Dartmouth College Author of the books “Winning the Right Game” & “The Wide Lens”; Oliver Birk, Director Platform at Business - BASF Coatings; Miriam van Straelen, Partner at Roland Berger GmbH; Julian Kawohl, Professor of Strategic Management Ecosystemizer Co-author of the book “Ecosystemize Your Business”.

  • "Ecosystemize Your Business - Structured Methods For Disruptive Growth", Alexander Rösch, Lead Ecosystem Expert at Hub PwC Germany; Roksana Siewiorek, Innovation Consultant at PwC Germany; Lukas Held, Innovation Consultant at PwC Germany.

  • Why a Platform Is Not Enough - Brand (Architecture) Ecosystem, by Alex Pesjak, VP Europe in McFadyen Digital.

  • Community Building in a Phygital World, by Anna Noakes Schulze, Head of Community Experience TheNTWK; Marina Planas, CEO & Co-Founder of TheNTWK; Clare Muscat, CEO & Founder Women in CX; Natalie Battle, CEO & Founder of Juno House; Fatima Duarte, Founding Member Business Development Manager in Grounded Innovation.


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