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Digital society

Theme
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Digitalisation is causing societal changes that raise questions about security, discrimination, influence and the power of technology companies. European countries, businesses and citizens are now concerned about their limited ability to shape the digital world technologically, economically and democratically. Malicious and state actors exploit any gaps in the digital infrastructure. Election systems are hacked and trade secrets stolen. Social media connects people, but also stirs up divisions. The Netherlands and Europe are therefore looking for opportunities to create a value-based digital society.

The coronavirus crisis magnifies the above issues. Digital technology is proving to be a godsend during lockdowns. At the same time, the limitations of digital contact are becoming apparent. Alienation, educational disadvantage and poor interaction between therapist
and patient are examples of the social and mental consequences of extensive digitalisation. How do we ensure good digital healthcare, education and work, where the focus is not on smart algorithms, but on people? How can we shape the digital world together?
Another downside of digital applications is also becoming apparent: energy consumption. Can a digital society also be a sustainable
society?

Three topics

As part of the “Digital Society” theme, we will be working on the following topics with new research and debate over the next years: