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The IPBA Academy provides the highest-quality training available on place branding for cities, regions and tourism destinations. At the IPBA Academy we offer general courses on place branding as well as specialised courses on issues of particular significance in the contemporary, fast-changing environment. We also design tailor-made trainings to meet the specific needs of your city, municipality or destination.
Students of the IPBA Academy have access to the most up-to-date knowledge and material including the best practices from across the globe. The pride of the IPBA Academy is the pool of experienced tutors who are amongst the world’s most well-known researchers, educators and consultants on place branding.
The IPBA is the only international body established to promote and advance place branding and is aimed at improving the place branding practice. The courses offered at the IPBA Academy provide practitioners with a wide spectrum of skills and knowledge that will guarantee their career progression and the best possible place branding implementation for their destinations.
The IPBA Academy tutors are amongst the world’s best-known experts in the area of place and destination branding. They are the leading researchers who have produced cutting-edge knowledge in the field, consultants who have undertaken some of the best place branding implementation projects and practitioners who are responsible for some of the world’s best place brands.
is an independent international adviser, scholar, speaker and author on the reputation of cities, regions and countries. Since 2009 Robert Govers has co-edited and authored four books, including Imaginative Communities, on the topic of community reputation. He has also co-authored over 50 journal articles, book chapters and conference papers and has delivered numerous public speeches and business publications. In addition, he is co-editor of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy. He has also been an adjunct or visiting scholar at Tsinghua University, Beijing; the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad; the University of Leuven, Belgium; Rotterdam School of Management, the Netherlands; Loughborough University London Campus; IULM University Milano, Italy; and several institutes in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He also teaches place branding on the UNESCO World Heritage at Work Master's programme in Torino, Italy. Robert has held positions in South Africa, the Netherlands, Belgium and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He has been involved in many consultancy projects and advisory boards for reputable organisations such as the International Air Transport Association, the European Commission, the Flemish government and various ministries, tourism promotion boards, and regional and city administrations.see bio >
is a geographer who specializes in the marketing and branding of cities and regions as an integral part of urban and regional governance and planning. Martin is the owner of the advisory firm For the Love of Place and co-founding Board Member of The International Place Branding Association. He lives in The Netherlands, from where he has been involved in more than 100 advisory projects. His clients include cities like The Hague, Oslo, York and Ghent, and regions like Amsterdam Metropolitan Region, Provincie of Northern Brabant, the Veluwe and the Wadden Sea area. Martin also contributes as a panel expert to The Place Brand Observer, he’s a chief advisor to European Cities Marketing and has been involved in knowledge-development through UrbAct, Interreg and UNWTO. Next to his advisory work, Martin is a lecturer in Human Geography & Planning at the University of Groningen. He's published a number of influential research articles and book chapters on the topic, is a frequent keynote speaker at international events and a celebrated guest lecturer at several institutions around the world.see bio >
is Associate Professor at the Poznan University of Economics and Business in Poland. She is co-founder and Member of the Board of Best Place – the European Place Marketing Institute as well as Senior Fellow at the Institute of Place Management in UK. In 2006/2007 she was a senior lecturer at the Marketing Department, University of Otago in New Zealand. Magdalena is also scholarship holder of the Fulbright Program at Northwestern University and the Kellogg School of Management in USA. She is a member of the Editorial Boards of Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Journal of Destination Marketing and Management, Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal, and Tourism and Hospitality Management. Consultant in brand strategy, city and region promotion. Magdalena is co-author of brand strategies and other related projects for Polish cities and regions. She is an active speaker and member of teams working on many international projects and grants.see bio >
is Associate Professor of Marketing at the School of Business, University of Leicester, UK. He holds a PhD on city marketing from the University of Groningen, Netherlands and has taught marketing and tourism related courses in Budapest, Hungary and Leicester. His research focuses on the theory and application of place marketing and place branding. His interests include tourism destination marketing and the study of destination images. Mihalis is also a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Place Management. He has published extensively in various academic journals and he is co-editor of ‘Inclusive Place Branding’ (with M. Giovanardi and M. Lichrou, 2017), ‘Rethinking Place Branding’ (with G. Warnaby and G.J. Ashworth, 2015) and ‘Towards Effective Place Brand Management’ (with G.J. Ashworth, 2010).see bio >
coined the term ‘nation brand’ and is the world’s leading expert on national image. He has written 6 books and advised the governments, Presidents and Prime Ministers of 56 nations. He founded the Nation Brands and City Brands Indexes in 2005 and the Good Country Index in 2014.see bio >
is the Manager of the Department of Communications and Citybranding in The Hague. He is the first point of contact for the board of Mayor and Aldermen when it comes to the city branding of The Hague. He is also the primary contact for partners in the city. Ernst was one of the founders of what was first the independent Bureau Citybranding, which eventually became part of the Department of Communications & Citybranding. Ernst is now part of the team of 4 managers that directs 140 communication professionals with their daily jobs of communicating with and about The Hague. Ernst has almost 20 years of experience in the field of city branding and has worked on numerous projects. From the communication around major international events, hospitality programs for visitors to recently the local communication approach to the corona crisis. In addition, Ernst has extensive experience with change processes within organizations. From the centralization of the various communication departments within the municipal organization to the introduction of task-oriented solutions to combat compartmentalization.see bio >
Dr. Marco Bevolo, PhD, is currently Researcher and Lecturer in International Leisure Management at a leading international academy in international leisure management and sciences. He earned his PhD on the role of design in generating urban futures at the Graduate School, Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Tilburg University. In 1999-2009, he was a Director at Philips Design headquarters in the Netherlands. He is the founder of Marco Bevolo Consulting, working in foresight, futures research and strategic design for selected customers in Europe and Asia, including the Municipality of Eindhoven, Lighting Design Collective, and CitiesNext GmbH (Vienna). In this extracurricular capacity, in the lustrum 2010-2016 he has been the Principal Research Urban Futures for Philips Lighting, now Signify, in EMEA and Poland. He has contributed to seminars and events with the School of Design, Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Emerson College, Boston; the UNAM Post-graduate School of Architecture, Mexico City.see bio >
is professor of Global Communication in School of Journalism and professor of Corporate Communication for the Executive MBA Programs in School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. She holds PhD on Language and Communication from University of Oxford, U.K. She is the founder and director of the Centre for National Image Research of Tsinghua University, a university-level interdisciplinary centre with professors from public administration, business management, architecture, humanities studies, Journalism, communication, arts and design, aiming to build the national image of the country as well as the brands of cities and enterprises in China. In recent years, Hong has led a number of Chinese national projects such as the research project ‘The Chinese Cultural Identity and Nation Branding’ and the consultancy project ‘2019 Beijing World Horticulture Expo’. Professor Fan is also the founder and director of City Branding Studio of Tsinghua University, which is the first government thinktank on place branding and image building. Hong is editor-in-chief of the book series of National Image Studies, and has published five books over the past years, covering nation branding, cultural identity, city branding, corporate reputation, cultural heritage, architecture, design, and other related fields.see bio >
is the Strategist and Program Manager of the Department of Communications and Citybranding in The Hague. He works for the municipality of The Hague and has been active in the field of city branding since 2011. He has experienced the entire development from classic city marketing to strategic branding. From late 2020 to early 2022, he worked as an advisor to one of the deputy mayors of The Hague and now works as a strategist for the department of Communications & Citybranding. He is the program manager of the positioning strategy of The Hague. A strategy on city branding that aims to apply brand values across a large number of policy areas. From communication with and about the city to relevant developments that determine the quality of life and attractiveness of the city. Luuk has extensive experience in positioning issues, stakeholder management, reputation management and political processes. Luuk represents The Hague in the Dutch association of city marketing and city branding and also regularly participates in (international) conferences and courses to learn from other cities at home and abroad.see bio >
Assistant professor at the University of Lodz, Poland. The author of the first in Poland doctoral dissertation and the first book about nation branding. Expert of Polish Chamber of Commerce in Brand for Poland project. Consultant in brand-related projects for companies, public institutions (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Regional Development etc.) and local governments. A leading consultant in the project on Kazakhstan country brand. Co-author of European Funds Brand strategy in Poland. The member of International Place Branding Association and Institute of Place Management, member of The Place Brand Observer research panel. Her research interest include: place brand identity development; measurement of place branding effectiveness, stakeholder engagement in place branding, place of origin branding.see bio >
Inga Hlín Pálsdóttir has been an integral part of branding and promotion for Iceland for over a decade and has been involved with all aspects of the tourism industry. She led successful changes for the brand as a place and destination, both in crisis and in times of growth. She worked for the Trade Council of Iceland from 2006-2009 on the branding of Iceland. She was the Director for Visit Iceland at Promote Iceland from 2010-2019. Visit Iceland was the destination marketing office (DMO) and worked under the brand of Inspired by Iceland. She was also the director for Iceland Naturally marketing initiative in North America in cooperation with the Foreign Affair Ministry. She served on the board of NATA – North Atlantic Tourism Association from 2014-2019 and was a part of the reference group to the Nordic Council of Ministers on Nordic branding and Profiling from 2015-2019. From 2020, she has been advising places and destinations on strategy, branding, integrated marketing and crisis communication. She is also a Senior Advisor with Future Place Leadership. She has written articles and been a speaker on various occasions on both place branding and tourism – see www.ingahlin.is.see bio >
Frans is program manager of the NL branding assignment at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. On behalf of the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Infrastructure his team is responsible for the deployment of the international positioning strategy of the Netherlands. Beside engagement and stakeholder management the team – which include subject experts, communication advisors and content experts – works on the positioning on specific essential topics like water, agriculture, energy and health. Frans is responsible for this assignments since 2020, before that he was working as a manager and consultant and Kantar – the marketing insights division of WPP – on themes like branding, communication, customer experience and innovation.see bio >
Aine Kearney, Director of Business Support & Events, Tourism Northern Ireland, has over 14 years of experience in business development, product development and marketing roles across numerous sectors including construction, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism within Northern Ireland, the USA and Australia. Prior to her current role, Aine was the Director of Product Development at Tourism Northern Ireland and has also worked as the Signature Project Manager for the Titanic Museum in Belfast.see bio >
A native of Dundalk, joined the BIDS team In January 2016 and is responsible for managing and co-ordinating all aspects of the BIDs Company. In his role as “Town Centre Commercial Manager, Martin has added many positive and progressive solutions that has helped elevate the Town Centre on many levels. To name but a few, he successfully delivered new Christmas lighting Plans, Cultural development projects like “Seek Urban Arts", and operational projects like “Facades Operation Town Transformation” that have helped reshape the overall perception of Dundalk. With his first hand retail and commercial experience from his many years as an entrepreneur, Martin’s ability to both represent and understand a towns centre’s modern-day business and place making needs have helped refocus and reinforce Dundalk’s important status and position as a leading Town Centre in the North East region.see bio >
is Head of Surrey University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. He has senior management and governance experience on executive and advisory boards in universities, government agencies and charities, has held professorial titles in several universities, and has extensive experience in tourism, sport and leisure policy, strategy, development, marketing and in events and PR from his time in national agencies and local goverment. He has envisioned, established and led academic communities as a Head of School, Associate Dean, Head of Department, and Research Centre Director at Surrey, Swansea and Cardiff Metropolitan Universities. Nigel has spent 25 years promoting inclusive, creative and responsible tourism research, education and academic community engagement. He has sought to ‘make’ as well as ‘mark’ differences through his research, teaching and advisory interventions, working at the intersections of transformative learning, evidence-based research and community activism. An economic and social historian by doctoral training, his research is encapsulated in three entwined strands: place marketing, power and identity; inequality and wellbeing; critical studies and gender. He is perhaps best known for co-founding the Critical Tourism Studies Network in 2005 and co-chairing it until 2015. He has led consultancy projects for clients in the UK, Europe, the US and Asia and his research has been funded by the ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, the EU and the Norwegian Research Council.see bio >
is Managing Partner in Brand and Independent creative business consultancy Heavenly. Roger runs Heavenly’s place practice, but also works with clients in property, media, charities, utilities and transport. He was previously Director of Marketing for Visit Wales / Welsh Government and CEO of Cardiff & Co. (the place marketing agency for Wales’ Capital City). As both client and consultant Roger has led and implemented brand strategies at nation, region and city levels. He is also joint-editor of Destination Brands, the original and best-selling place branding textbook.see bio >
is Chief Executive of WeAreWaterloo Business Improvement District (BID). Here she is responsible for enticing people to spend more time – and money! – in London’s Waterloo neighbourhood. This takes shape in events, marketing, greening and security initiatives. Prior to Waterloo, Natalie began her BID career in New York at the Lower East Side Partnership, also a BID, where she launched the organisation’s public art portfolio through the 100 Gates Project, a public art initiative that connected artists and businesses through murals on security gates. This grant funded programme went on to expand to several other neighbourhoods, successfully bringing hundreds of new murals to the city. More recently, she obtained her MSc from Manchester MET University in Place Management & Leadership.see bio >
Owner & Operator, Giant Tours Ireland, has been taking Game of Thrones fans to Northern Ireland’s off-the-beaten-track filming locations for many years. Not only is he a local with a passion for what he does, Flip also appeared in the series as a stand-in body double for the much-loved Hodor and for the towering Ser Gregor Clegane. You can see him in three iconic episodes in Season 6.see bio >
is a leading film tourism expert. In 2003, he emigrated to New Zealand to embark on the world’s first PhD in Film Tourism at the University of Otago. For his research, he interviewed film location tourists, tour operators and destination marketing organisations around the world and published the results in his book ‘The Experiences of Film Location Tourists’ (Channel View, 2009). To date, he has presented on this topic at more than 40 international conferences as a keynote speaker, including a talk at the European Parliament. He has also consulted various destinations on film tourism projects around the world, including the likes of VisitBritain (on the movie ‘Paddington’), Tourism Northern Ireland (‘Game of Thrones’), VisitDenmark (‘Trolls’) and the Jordan Tourism Board (‘The Martian'). Stefan is also the principal founder of FilmQuest, a film tourism startup that features iconic film locations, film tourism experiences and film-related travel stories from around the world.see bio >
is the Managing Director of the Oslo Region Alliance, which consists of the City of Oslo and 64 additional municipalities in the Oslo metropolitan region. The overarching aim of the alliance is to promote the region as a sustainable and competitive region. The alliance works with regional spatial planning, transport, climate and environment as well as business development and branding. Øyvind was a project leader for the development of the Oslo Region Brand Management Strategy, which was developed in partnership with Oslo Business Region. He now coordinates the Oslo Region Alliance’ work to promote the region internationally to attract talent and investments. Øyvind is a political scientist, and a former researcher and private consultant. He also has extensive experience from public management as chief of staff for the Governing Mayor of Oslo for eight years. The Oslo Region Alliance is a small organization in terms of staff and relies on a close collaboration with other partners such as Oslo Business Region, VisitOSLO, business clusters and other organisations and stakeholders.see bio >
is a Strategic Brand Project Lead (as of July 1, 2022). Prior to that, Sam has headed up the marketing team for ChristchurchNZ - an EDA which promotes Christchurch to residents, visitors and businesses across the full array of areas - major and business events, tourism, right through to business and talent attraction, and a local film office. Before ChristchurchNZ Sam worked as a Marketing Manager for a New Zealand tourism operator running in New Zealand, Australia and North America.see bio >
is the Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), the official national tourism organization of the island nation of Barbados in the Caribbean. BTMI is responsible for promoting Barbados as a sustainable tourism destination and the ultimate Caribbean vacation island by implementing marketing strategies that help the responsible development of tourism. In 2014, Jens Thraenhart was appointed by the tourism ministries of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and China (Yunnan and Guanxi) to head the Mekong Tourism Coordinating (MTCO) as its Executive Director. In 1999, he founded consulting agency Chameleon Strategies, an affiliate member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). He has consulted for tourism ministries and hotel companies all over the world, with a focus on sustainable development, marketing, and digital transformation. Jens Thraenhart (www.thraenhart.com) has over 30 years of international travel, tourism, and hospitality experience, spanning positions in operations, marketing, business development, revenue management, strategic planning, and e-business. Jens Thraenhart has a doctorate degree in tourism and hospitality management (DHTM) from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and is educated at Cornell University with an MBA-accredited Master of Management in Hospitality, as well as a joint Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University Center 'Cesar Ritz' at Brig, Switzerland. Mr. Thraenhart was recognized as one of the travel industry’s top 100 rising stars by Travel Agent Magazine in 2003, was listed as one of HSMAI’s 25 Most Extraordinary Sales and Marketing Minds in Hospitality and Travel in 2004 and 2005, was named one of the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in European Travel and Hospitality in 2014 and recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Leaders in Travel and Tourism in 2022. He is the 2nd Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the UNWTO Affiliate Members, past PATA Board Member, past Executive Board Member of HSMAI, past Executive Board Member of IFITT, and past Chair of PATA China.see bio >
Official behind the country brand strategy “essential COSTA RICA” at PROCOMER, world’s #1 Trade Promotion Organization (ITC, 2014-2020). Alongside his career, Daniel is researching the impact of SDGs in place brand strategies for the Pompeu Fabra University. Recent achievements include being appointed president of the Ibero American Country Brands Council, collecting the Place Brand of the Year Award at the 2019 City Nation Place Global Conference in London and receiving the Branding Award at the 2020 Place Marketing Forum in Marseille.see bio >
is one of two place brand managers at the City of Ghent (Belgium). In 2019, Ghent developed a place brand strategy in which it distinguishes itself from other cities by a Ghentian way of handling things. The strategy has one main goal: reflecting Ghent’s unique style in all aspects of city life. Using different tools (e.g., brand filter workshops, Value Proposition Canvas workshops), the team focuses on implementing this Ghentian style in the city organization and in every aspect of city life. Melanie obtained a bachelor’s in social work (2007), a master’s degree in Communication Sciences (2009) and finished her PhD in communication sciences at Ghent University in 2014. Her research focused on risk communication about food safety and included an internship at the World Health Organization. Afterwards, Melanie worked as a marketing manager in a small user’s experience company. Since 2016 she works at the City of Ghent. In the first years, she focused on city marketing and strategic communication, and in 2019 she took up the project lead in the development of the place brand strategy of Ghent.see bio >
In order to enroll in a course, please fill out a form by clicking on the “request details” button which you can find in the description section of each course as well as on the bottom of this page. We will send you further details regarding the enrollment process.
Absolutely not! All our courses are held entirely online. You can learn from wherever you are.
We estimate you will have to devote between 3-5 hours a week to successfully complete a course.
Each week, you will have to attend the online sessions and engage with the learning material provided. This means that you will need to join the webinars and other ‘live’ sessions, which will last from one to three hours, depending on the course type and the week of the programme. The learning material is designed to take approximately two hours of self-study engagement each week. In addition, depending on the course type, you will also need to turn in a shorter or longer assignment.
The courses offered by International Place Branding Association (IPBA) are the first and only of its kind. The programme provides the knowledge and tools to successfully manage place brands. All lectures and webinars are held by internationally recognized experts in the area of place and destination branding. The same applies to events. Participants will also receive additional materials and will be granted access to the presentations. IPBA Academy ensures a high quality of content and an interactive structure of the courses.
The key benefits are:
The tutors are amongst the world’s best-known experts on place branding. The IPBA can guarantee that you will interact with leading researchers who have produced cutting-edge knowledge in the field, consultants who have undertaken some of the best place branding implementation projects and practitioners who are responsible for some of the world’s best place brands.
The programme uses a combination of interactive lectures and webinars, recorded lectures, case studies, practical activities and exercises, structured discussions and guest lectures by industry experts to provide participants with a critical appreciation of the key concepts and techniques associated with place branding in the contemporary environment of place and tourism development.
Yes, you will have the chance to meet and interact with your tutors and with your fellow participants in specially designed networking events and via the course’s Discussion Board. The connection to the IPBA will mean that you can stay connected to fellow participants and alumni as well as others interested in place branding through the IPBA newsletter and conference.
Yes! You will be able to implement the knowledge developed through the courses in your professional projects. The courses will equip you with the knowledge, personal skills and transferable skills necessary to design, lead and implement successful place and destination branding strategies. Our courses are ideal to foster your professional development!
Participants have free access to different online events (such as individual lectures or seminars) while being enrolled in a course at IPBA Academy and within one year of having completed a course. They also receive a discount for the IPBA annual conference and additionally, from our supporting partner – a 50% off discount of a yearly membership at PlaceBrandObserver.com.
Please check the description of each course.
IPBA Academy uses a dedicated user-friendly platform for the majority of activities and interactions. You will receive details once you have enrolled.
The majority of classes are conducted in real-time. However, some lectures might be recorded earlier due to time zone differences or due to technical issues. Webinars are always live in order to provide the highest level of service and enable interactions with tutors and among participants. Nevertheless, all classes are recorded and are accessible for up to a week for those participants who were not able to attend or for those who would like to revisit them.
After you complete the admission form, you will be given 2 options to proceed with the payment: by making a direct bank transfer or through PayPal.
Yes, we offer a 30% discount for students currently enrolled in a university (you have to present the proof of your student status). We also offer a 20% discount for groups (2 and more persons from the same organization). As a recurring participant of IPBA Academy, you are entitled to receive a 20% discount for the next course(s). Please note that discounts cannot be combined. For any further discounts please contact us by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to assist.
It is possible to pay in two installments only for the longer courses (min. 6 weeks long).
Once you are enrolled it is not possible to withdraw from the course.
We keep it small. The group can be up to 18 participants, no more. It is because we want to make sure that each participent is granted the highest level of devotion by the IPBA Academy.
In case you are not be able to participate in a class, you will receive a recording so you will have the possibility to catch up and not miss out on anything.
Yes, you will receive an IPBA-accredited certificate of completion. The certificate will be stamped and sent to you by regular mail.
Courses are held in English. However, it is possible to run them in other languages as dedicated courses to a particular group of participants. This is the subject of separate agreement. For more information, please contact us at email@example.com.
Due to the fact that we need to take into consideration different holidays as well as accommodate for breaks in the case of longer courses (min. 6 weeks long) to give sufficient time for completing the assignments, therefore we cannot consider a week as a calendar week but as a working week.
IPBA offered us a useful training to introduce a group of European cities to the concept of place branding and how to develop a brand for a city. The trainers were very knowledgeable and provided a lot of practical examples to inspire our future work!Sara Giovannini Communications & EU Policy at Energy Cities, Belgium
The IPBA online courses bring together the best minds in the place branding world, not only educating with the latest academic research but with real life, practical case studies. I’ve already applied learnings in my day job.Sam Taylor Senior Marketing Manager at ChristchurchNZ, New Zealand
As a placemaking professional that includes being part of the UK Government’s High Street Task Force, the IPBA Academy course on Place Brand Identity was a very effective way of filling in gaps in my knowledge and learning from international examples. The online delivery of the course is very clear and manageable alongside my work. Interaction is encouraged with other participants from around the globe and constructive feedback provided to increase the learning from the course assignment.Chris Wade FIPM, Director of People & Places Partnership Ltd. and U.K. Government High Streets Task Force expert
coordinates the designing and implementation of the educational programs of the IPBA academy; oversees marketing activities of the IPBA Academy; enrolls guest speakers; evaluates curricula, teaching procedures and educational materials within the education system of the IPBA Academy.see bio >
plans and coordinates educational programs of the IPBA Academy; determines and ensures implementation of policies, procedures and practices; coordinates content for online courses; organizes and oversees the programs agenda; supports growth and development of the education system of the IPBA Academy.see bio >
manages program-related internal and external marketing communication; coordinates the enrollment process; promotes the IPBA Academy's mission, products, and services.
makes sure the process of enrollment is executed in a smooth manner; provides administrative support; keeps updated records; maintains the IPBA Academy’s calendar.
manages operating and information systems infrastructure; provides support for the entire online learning process; responsible for maintaining the learning platform.