Societal values in digital innovation: who, what and how?

Position Paper | Year 2020
Societal values in digital innovation: who, what and how?
KVAB Thinkers' Programme 2019
Class of Technical Sciences

Society is at a crossroads: the digital revolution is proceeding at full speed and nobody knows what the total impact will be. In many sectors, digitalisation is the driving force behind innovation and change. Consumers are using numerous digital services and leaving behind multiple digital traces in the process. The current Covid-19 crisis has shown us, as never before, the advantages of digitalisation. At the same time, however, we should not be blind to the disadvantages and the dangers. There is an urgent need for a well-considered and widely embraced approach that shows respect for our social values.

The topic has a multitude of facets and angles, including many areas of expertise. This Position Paper presents three complementary essays written by international experts. They bring a message for society and policymakers that is focussed on the future. On the basis of profound insights, inspirational practical examples and concrete recommendations, they offer Flanders and by extension all countries a robust foundation for an ethical approach to digitalisation and for the further modelling of what citizenship means in a digital society.

This Position Paper does not waste time on doom scenarios. Rather, it is a heartfelt plea for a new relationship between humankind and technology.

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