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Dr. Astrid Aretz

Telefon: +49–30–884 594-17

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Digital Transformation

Brief description

Smart homes, the sharing economy, virtual power plants, and the Internet of things – the digital transformation is reshaping the economy and society. This development raises many expectations: Companies may become more competitive, while at the same time, industrial processes and digital services can become more energy and resource-efficient. Thus, digitalization can contribute to reconciling  economic growth with ecological sustainability – so the thinking goes.

Yet, pressing questions remain: Will jobs vanish in great numbers? Will digital applications increase overall demand for products and services until rebound effects eventually quash any gains in efficiency? And what kinds of hazards will arise, in critical infrastructures of our public services – as we become increasingly dependent on 24/7 reliable electricity and digital data transmission?

At IÖW we are examining both the potentials and the risks of digitalization and developing framework options and governance instruments for effectively managing a sustainability-oriented digital policy agenda.