networked + global
On the road to a digital society
Computer technology is ever-present in our world and high-speed networks span the globe. This is changing the way we live, work and communicate. A digital world is evolving, in which creativity and innovation are able to unfold in new ways.
Consequently, science and research have a greater influence on life in the 21st century than ever before. This is attributable to massive investments in research and development, coupled with intensive cooperation and tough competition. The merging of nano-, bio-, information and neuro-technologies is enabling brand new methods and applications. In addition to land, capital and employment, knowledge is fast becoming the decisive factor not only for prosperity, but for the resolution of global problems too.
Millions of scientists are coming to grips with the secrets of our world, across the entire spectrum of space, time, energy and complexity. Fundamentally new knowledge is emerging from areas like the study of inter-disciplinary topics and extreme states of matter.
And thanks to globe-spanning information and communication networks, the challenges our civilisation faces in the long term are known to us more quickly and clearly than ever before. We can start developing solutions together at an earlier stage.
In this context, the global networks of scientists, fast computers and intelligent software all help us to better understand these complex relationships. The digital networking of the many enhances the creativity of the individual – we live in "accelerated times".
However, not only knowledge but goods and services are also becoming digitally networked – blurring the boundaries between our work and home environments, between our real life and our virtual existence.
New research findings are being generated across the world in rapid succession, but are not automatically finding application. Innovations must make their way into a highly networked society that has become sensitive to change. One of the key factors is how open society is to new things, and what needs and values people are driven by.