Recent years have seen a proliferation of digital technologies throughout the economy and in everyday life. The challenges and opportunities presented by this development are the subject of increasing debate in the media, society, and the policy community. Prominent themes within these debates include the emerging challenges to privacy, the future of work and cyber-security as well as efforts to enhance efficiency, conserve resources and enhance economic growth. At present it remains uncertain whether and to what extent the digitalisation of communication, services, and industrial production will foster or impede transformations towards sustainable development.
What role can digital technologies play in the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals? How will the digitalisation of industrial production processes affect energy and resource use? How will it change the working environment? What effect do these new, digital forms of communication have on democratic participation processes? What opportunities and challenges does digitalisation present for developing countries and emerging economies? These questions lie at the heart of research relating to this topic at the IASS.
Using transdisciplinary research methods, these projects aim to provide robust scientific assessments of the impact of digital technologies and services. Our researchers will identify the potential risks and benefits of digital technologies for transformations towards sustainable economies and societies. The outcomes of this research will include scientific papers as well as recommendations for policymakers actors in the private sector, civil society and organisations for international cooperation.