Digitalization is not to think big, Smart Society is

Based upon my earlier post – “I dream about the day I no longer have to talk about digitalization” –  I have thought about what I should use instead of Digitalization as a concept.

After quite some research and good discussions with a few clever friends of mine I have come to some sort of early conclusion ready for sharing.

In fact the answer is given as digitalization is not the why but the how and actually only the how in some domains and not all dimensions. So what is the general end vision and purpose of digitalization? Well I think it should be to strive towards a  smarter society. Of course people and organisation will make a somewhat different definition of that why. I also realize that  many of the most successful companies in the transforming world have that why defined for a society where the physical and artificial is converging and where the singularity of artificial intelligence is approaching in a ever accelerating pace.

I have for past month tried “Smart Society” on people where I would normally use digitalization and it actually works well. When people have asked what I mean with it following definition has evolved:

Definition (preliminary): The smart society is the socio-technical ecosystem in which the physical and virtual dimensions of life converge and were people interaction is mediated by machines to an ever increasing extent

I have actually already used the Smart Society perspective to kill of Digitalization proposals that does not stand the lackmus test.

When you start to think about your day-to-day tasks and queries from a “how does this help make society smarter” you will quickly realize it is a quite powerful in all it’s simplicity.

Early in my thought process I just assumed with all the buzz around  Smartphones, Smart Cities, Smart manufacturing and all the other Smart something  that I would get an overwhelming amount of hits but were amazed that this was not the case. The most concrete I found is a EU sponsored university driven project founded already in 2013 (so as usual some clever people where quite ahead of the rest of us) that have some interesting publications I plan to explore and comment here.

To transform all this into something easy to remember  just think of digitalization as one piece of the Smart Society puzzle.

So next step is to start figure out what other dimensions to add to make this a more complete and usable mental model.


Feel free to share your thoughts on what those pieces should be.





2 responses to “Digitalization is not to think big, Smart Society is”

  1. […] simple thing we could all do is to strive to give towards a smart society (my post the other day) where that concept can be used as framework for how we make sure technology […]

  2. […] a business perspective if your business is not actively exploring the opportunities of the smart society (broader concept than Digitalization) you are likely working in one of the +40% of companies that […]

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