Platforms are to the network age what the factory was to the industrial revolution. From popular imagination to research activity, there is a palpable sense of a new turn in economic reorganization, implicating productivity, growth, jobs and skills in the future economy. The dominant mood is about innovation and opportunity. However, there is a need at this moment to pause and ask if this overarching sentiment is justified and what the economic turn that platforms portend mean for our future societies and economies. As with all times of paradigmatic change, institutions are falling behind in their attempts to understand what in effect constitutes the social project of public policy making in relation to the platform economy. With support from International Development Research Council (IDRC), IT for Change is embarking on a project titled ‘Policy frameworks for digital platforms – Moving from openness to inclusion’. This research project seeks to explore and articulate the institutional-legal arrangements that are adequate to a future economy that best serves the ideas of development justice; where considerations about economic and distributive justice are primary.