Track: Opportunities and Challenges for the Digitized Society: Are We Ready?

Track Co-chairs:

Jungwoo LEE, Yonsei University,

Hirotoshi TAKEDA, Universite Laval,

Cheng ZHANG, Fudan University,

Description and Topics of Interest:

Information technologies have reached a new level of maturity since the advent of smart devices and related Internet-based platforms. Technologies such as Cloud Computing, Data Analytics, Social Media, Mobile Technology, and Internet of Things are now infiltrating as well as transforming every aspect of modern life. Socio-economic progress of our society is now depending largely upon the emerging information technologies. With these new platform-based technologies, many opportunities are opening up. For example, we are seeing an explosive growth of new businesses and markets with access to easy-to-use programming facilities across domains on cloud platforms. Affordable mobile phones and mobile internet connections which has brought our society into the digital economy, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and governments to develop new services, henceforth, smart work, smart society, smart cities, and smart factories giving birth to the newly coined term of the 4th industrial revolution. These newly emerging paradigms of Digitized Society may work as a double-edged sword, however, as negative side effects of digitalization may prevent positive endeavors of creating a better society using information technologies.

Moreover, new technological innovations such as the Autonomous Systems, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, 3D printing, and Virtual Reality are creating new opportunities in how people, businesses, and governments interact, transact, communicate, and work with each other. On the other hand new markets and new technological innovations, in their endeavor to create a ‘better society’, face pertinent challenges of adoption and implementation as they inherently disrupt extant power structures; introduce complications to regulation, governance, privacy, and security; and change accountability relationships.

So the question remains: ‘Are we ready?’ We, the community of IS scholars with balanced training on social and technical aspects of these transformation, are well positioned to address these issues of the technological and societal changes and impacts. This track welcomes innovative and relevant studies on societal impacts of technologies. Empirical (qualitative and quantitative) studies as well as design-oriented research and conceptual papers on theory development will be considered. Societal impacts can be actual or potential, intended or unintended, and positive, negative, or diverse in effect. Due to the broad and inclusive nature of the topic, we encourage the submission of studies that address a variety of different units of analysis, including individual, group, process, organization, government, and society at large. The research questions may derive from a broad spectrum of related disciplines. We encourage papers to address the theme of ‘Opportunities and Challenges for the Digitized Society’.

Potential topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Societal consequences of technologies and solutions
  • Societal consequences of global sourcing and development
  • Societal innovations using technologies
  • Smart cities with ubiquitous technologies
  • Empowering marginalized groups in society with IS
  • New and emerging markets in IS/IT
  • Green IS
  • Societal impacts of robotics
  • Responsible and/or sustainable IT Innovation
  • Changing nature of work and life in information society
  • Working smarter with ICT
  • New forms of work in digital platforms (e.g., crowdwork; e-lancing)
  • Emerging patterns and dynamics of work: organizational and individual perspective
  • Work fragmentation and nomadic work practices
  • The new skills and roles
  • Digital transformation of the labor market: end of capitalism; surveillance capitalism
  • Future professions and the unbundling of expertise
  • IS-related unemployment and deskilling, especially in knowledge work
  • Dark side of technology including stress, addiction, victimization, surveillance, etc.
  • Impact of IT/IS on the transformation of the workplace