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From Digital Reality to Reality – III

The Digital Transformation is changing our Society and our perception of the world. In Japan this is called Society 5.0, a Super Smart Society where bits and atoms create the fabric of our life. Image credit: 5th Science and Technology Basic Plan of Japan

The new Initiative launched by FDC-IEEE capitalises on the results achieved by the afore mentioned Digital Reality and Symbiotic Autonomous Systems and it is called Digital Reality: Fostering and leveraging the ongoing Digital Transformation.

The Digital Transformation is affecting most businesses, many paths of life and is transforming our perception of the world.

I am not going to consider now how the Digital Transformation is changing the biz, I touched upon that in several other posts (search for Digital Transformation). Let me just mention that EIT Digital and IEEE FDC have developed a full course on Digital Transformation that can be followed on line and customised to specific areas and needs on demand(watch the clip).

So, let’s take a look at the changes in the way of life and in our perception of the world. It makes sense to consider these two together because they influence one another. The way we live shapes our perception of the world and likewise our culture and societal blueprint steer our way of life in what we feel the desirable direction.

In this respect I have found the Keidanren report very interesting. The report, “Toward realisation of the new economy and society” has been published by the Japan Business Federation in April 2016, subjected to several discussion and refinement and presented at CEBIT 2019 as the vision of Japan for the Society produced by the Digital Transformation.

A point that I found intriguing is the concept of Walls, barriers that need to be addressed and overcome to make the shift to what they call Society 5.0.  The report identifies 5 “walls”:

  • The wall of Ministries and Agencies, basically pointing to the need of reforming the government to have a fit with the new environment brought forward by the Digital Transformation (and of course leveraging on the possibilities opened up, in particular leveraging on the data created by pervasive IoT and using those data by “think tank” functions;
  • The wall of the Legal System, recognising that the new meshed bit-atoms reality requires a new legal framework (and this also connects to new fiscal framework, something being heavily debated today, as geographical barriers are no longer clearly defined in business);
  • The wall of Technologies recognising the exponential growth in a bottom up fashion missing an overall planning to make investment at Country and transnational level consistent (and effective);
  • The wall of Human Resources pointing to the need of rethinking the education system – the report clearly focusses on the Japanese situation but several aspects apply in general;
  • The wall of Societal acceptance that goes beyond seeking a consensus pointing to the need of serious consideration of new ethical issues and societal implications.

It is actually on this last wall that I would like to focus.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.