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Introducing “Digital Connectivism”: A New Philosophy for the Digital Society

by Frank Buytendijk  |  November 5, 2016  |  1 Comment

“We are creating a digital society that is reshaping who we are and how we live. This new dynamic needs a new philosophy as our old business-driven ways don’t work anymore. Digital leaders should embrace digital connectivism to navigate the new digital society with skill and in comfort.”

That’s the summary of the new set of research notes I have written. The first incoherent thoughts about 5 years ago, the first drawing 3 years old, active research for a year, and 8 months of actual writing on it.

Officially it is an “ontological inquiry into the changing relationship between people and technology in the digital society”, but who would want to read that :-).

In the digital society, the virtual and the physical worlds are blending. Here are two examples:

  • Sweden has signs that warn people to pay attention to the road, not their smartphones. But you can’t see a sign while staring at a phone? That’s why in Augsburg, Germany, new traffic lights were embedded in the pavement, so that people — even those glued to their smartphones — would see them.
  • Pokémon Go holds the record for fastest first-month revenue for a mobile game (over $200 million) even outperforming Candy Crush. It has all kinds of effects on the relationship between people and the world they live in. Ranging from very positive — children spending more time outside — to very complicated — people trespassing on private property and entering hospitals in search of new Pokémon.

The digital society is the next step (and the next scale up) on the path to building digital businesses, and from using digital technologies to improve our own personal lives. 

The digital society, like any society, is characterized by persistent social interactions, and through patterns of relationships between members of a group that are associated by common interests. As with any society, it emerges more than it is designed.

Would you like to know more? Read Introducing Digital Connectivism: A New Philosophy for the Digital Society

Looking forward to hear from you.

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Frank Buytendijk
Distinguished VP and Gartner Fellow Emeritus
10 years at Gartner
23 years IT Industry

Frank Buytendijk covers Data and Analytics, Digital Ethics, #DigitalSociety and Futures Impact. He is also the co-lead of Gartner's Maverick program, the company's incubator for unconventional research. Read Full Bio

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