Digital Transformation

The new information and communication technology presents a potentially useful tool and opportunity. It can help address daunting societal challenges such as growing inequalities (in vulnerable areas), but also challenges of digital literacy, big tech, responsible AI, unemployment, addiction, exclusion, and environmental sustainability. To digitally transform our life and society, a holistic and long-term vision is needed, along with the right policies and institutions, innovation and experimentation, and leadership and learning capabilities.

Recent examples of detrimental consequences of the use of technology and AI have rightfully raised concerns around the digitalization of our daily life. For example, many people and companies are now wary when it comes to sharing or leveraging (personal) data. Those concerns are legitimate and call for stronger regulation and enforcement of ethical values and privacy. In addition, organizations should be more aware of how they use technology and how this affects humans and human interactions. Combining technology and expertise from our university may contribute to improving people’s lives, in a win-win and open manner. To this day, many individuals (e.g., older people, low SES) and organizations (e.g., governments, companies, NGOs) struggle to use data and technology effectively. We need to become more aware of how technological developments and their use affect our society and what needs to be done to make sure that citizens are able to align with necessary digital developments.

Digital transformation could be a way to improve people’s lives, where and when they see fit and with full control of the process. The Internet can inform people and strengthen equal opportunities, but it can also exacerbate inequality or even lead to disinformation or to addiction. What are the turning points?

The main goal of this domain is to provide insights into how to master digital transformation, examining important turning points that can contribute to restoring trust between users and technology or ensure digital inclusion. To master digital transformation, a boundary-crossing approach is needed as it is a demanding process which must be looked at from different perspectives, and guided by vision, leadership, enabling policies and effective governance.

Research projects: