Our Milky Way is by far the best studied galaxy in the Universe, and it has long been regarded as a benchmark for understanding disk galaxies. We have made major leaps in our understanding of the Galaxy in the last few years, enabled by Gaia, APOGEE and GALAH. However, the Milky Way is only one galaxy, and trying to understand the complex processes of galaxy formation and evolution from a single object is at best challenging, at worst naive and possibly flawed.
In this conference we aim to link Galactic and Extragalactic research, both of which bring unique perspectives to understanding how disk galaxies formed. The recent wealth of detailed Milky Way measurements from GALAH, APOGEE, LAMOST, and Gaia, combined with results from spatially resolved spectroscopic surveys such as SAMI, MaNGA, and with VLT-MUSE, make this the ideal time to link Galactic and extragalactic research. Crucial in this discussion are the recent results from large cosmological and Milky Way zoom in simulations that show that the Galaxy might not be the ideal template for understanding disk formation as previously thought.