GRA 6850 Digital Innovation and Society - SUMMER COURSE

GRA 6850 Digital Innovation and Society - SUMMER COURSE

Course code: 
GRA 6850
Communication and Culture
Course coordinator: 
Christian Fieseler
Course name in Norwegian: 
Digital Innovation and Society - SUMMER COURSE
Product category: 
MSc Summer Courses
2024 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

This Summer course belongs to "Global Innovation Challenge". The course is open to BI MSc in Business students only, and international students.

In the contemporary digital landscape, platforms such as OpenAI, Google, Amazon, or Meta have transcended traditional business paradigms, acting as both mediators and value drivers in various economic sectors. Their proliferation signifies a shift in how we conceptualize work, societal interaction, and the creation of value. These platforms, whether they are vast global enterprises or specialized local entities, exhibit a common denominator: a well-structured platform at their core.

This course aims to comprehensively examine the intricacies of the platform economy, emphasizing its strategic foundation, intuitive architecture, and holistic design principles. Additionally, the course underscores the importance of content accessibility and integration within the broader platform ecosystem.

The modern innovation manager’s role is multifaceted. It involves not only interacting with these platforms but also possessing the acumen to understand, evolve, and manage them effectively. Through a rigorous amalgamation of theoretical insights on platform strategy and firsthand experiences shared by industry practitioners, this course provides a robust exploration into platform development. In this course, you will also engage actively with user experience management tools, enabling a well-rounded understanding of all facets of platform creation and maintenance.

Join us in dissecting the platform economy, a cornerstone of today's digital age.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • Advanced knowledge of the building blocks of digital platform ecosystems
  • Thorough and critical understanding of how digital platforms impact organizations and society
  • Apply the foundations of user psychology to user experience management
  • Apply different analytical methods towards designing effective and sustainable platform strategies
  • Advanced knowledge of fair design principles regarding power, privacy and participation.
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Building a consistent platform strategy based on vision, market need and audiences
  • Analyze and deal critically with key audiences based on user personas
  • Identify an appropriate and relevant channel (website, app, feature…) and draft a convincing user-experience using wireframes
  • Identify relevant project management methods and set up a digital project management plan weighing constraints of time, budget and scope
  • Use existing user-data and user profiles do craft an individual content plan and ensure its relevance to audiences and search engines
  • Set-up a performance dashboard, identifying the key metrics to monitor continuous needs for improvement
General Competence
  • Defining strategic vision, specific audiences and measurable goals of a platform project à e.g. act effectively as head of digital platforms
  • Setting-up a platform project with different stakeholders
    à e.g. act effectively as a digital platform owner
  • Identifying and resolving potential areas of conflict within business and IT teams during a platform project.
    à e.g. act effectively as a digital platform manager on the business side
  • Briefing agencies and partners towards a desired user experience
    à e.g. act effectively as a UX-Manager on the business side
  • Deriving KPIs from the overarching goals and plan continuous measurement and communication towards key audiences within the organization
    à e.g. act effectively as a business intelligence specialist or data scientist.
Course content
  1. Platform Strategy – we will be looking at techniques to understanding audiences (gains, pains, goals), markets (and how to learn from the best in class digital applications), as well as to set up visions & goals for a digital product (timing, resources, scope).
  2. Architecture and Design – here we will be exploring how to define and prioritize key features of digital products, how to set up product structures/architectures, and how to design digital user experiences.
  3. Building and Scaling the Platform – in this part, we discuss how to implement digital products, and the management techniques to assist this implementation. We will be looking at agile vs. waterfall Development, application testing and prototyping, decisions between self-development vs. integrating partners (build, partner, invest) and at cornerstones of successful collaborations.
  4. Creating the Right Content – will lead us through a number of techniques to help a digital product find its audience, the methods we will be specifically looking comprise how to set up editorial plans, how to reach the right audiences through SEO strategies, and how to work with content creators (e.g. Influencers, Journalists etc.)
  5. Monitoring, Maintenance and Continuous Refinement – where we will be looking at how to continuously improve digital productions, through techniques such as defining key-metrics and KPIs (quantitively), measurement dashboards, and processes of continuously learning from user behavior (quantitively and qualitatively), all feeding into maintaining an active innovation pipeline
  6. Incorporating Fair Design Principles – finally, we will be looking how to design digital products socially responsibly, through measures that are intended to ensure universal accessibility, and through privacy and participation mechanisms.
Teaching and learning activities


You will be asked to work on five interlocking tasks, through which we will guide you through the development process of a digital platform. These steps are,

  • first to develop an idea for a platform of your choosing and detail your vision of the platform, as well as a description of your envisioned market, and a persona-based description of your audience.
  • Second, you will work on a wireframe prototype of your platform, mapping out an initial user experience and guidance.
  • Third, you will create a realization plan, on the strategic level, how your platform will be realized and through which you identify key resources and partners to implement your idea.
  • Fourth, you will draft a content plan, outlining with which contents you will engage your audience and how you plan a SEO strategy (your tactical plan)
  • Fifth, you will work a final evaluation of your idea, that includes the definition of performance metrics, and a plan for the continuous improvement of your application.
Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

It is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Presentation and discussion
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group (1 - 4)
15 Minute(s)
Initital presentation of students platform / digital product idea, to the instructors and case organization, structured along the learning structure of the course.
Exam code: 
GRA 68502
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group (1 - 4)
4 Week(s)
Full report on students' idea and implementation plan for the platform / digital product they developed over the course.
Exam code: 
GRA 68503
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.