Digitalization – the increased use of information and communication technologies (ICT) – is affecting all areas of our lives. Rapid progress in the development of hardware and software is steadily moving us towards a fully-digital society.
The ways how we learn, communicate, and consume are cases in point. Applications and devices make it “easier” (in inverted comma, because sometimes technology makes things more complicated or confusing) to do routine work or to stay in contact with each other. Many of them have already become so embedded in our daily experiences that it is hard to imagine living without them. Instant e-mail delivery, navigating with online maps, and an internet at our fingertips, available 24/7, has become second nature to us. The increased use of digital technologies to transfer money, to hail a taxi or to control energy consumption provides an illustration.
The impact of digitalization on our lives is profound. A typical day in the internet today comprises 2.3 billion GB of web traffic, 152 million Skype calls, 207 billion e-mails sent, 36 million purchases on Amazon, 8.8 billion videos watched on Youtube, and 4.2 billion Google searches. The speed with which digital technologies continue to make inroads into societies is constantly on the rise. And the lines between the old economy and a new digital one are becoming increasingly blurred.
Against this background, Christoph Rappitsch explores the opportunities and risks of the digital economy for a broad sustainability agenda and thus for people, communities and the planet in the first oikos Associate Report. Enjoy the read!