Digitization will substantially co-shape societal development. New phenomena like social media, smart-meter installations, mobile sensors embedded into personal devices and smart cars, e-voting experiments, or blockchain-technology become increasingly important features of our living worlds. How this supports and fosters sustainable human development by helping human societies cope with climate change or global inequalities remains to be seen. Digitization offers new opportunities for research in terms of data collection, processing, and analysis, as the new digital world creates a permanent data flow.

In this thematic focus area, researchers look at new home energy infrastructures, futures of mobility, or the potential of digitization for a green sharing economy. The researchers analyze new ways of communication as well as social sense making or social-movement-making through social media. They cover questions related to social desirability of the emerging digital worlds, addressing issues related to transparency, accessibility, and control.

Methodologically, we look at and deal with capturing, managing, integrating, processing, analyzing, and visualizing static data and continuous streams of data stemming from the use of digital devices. Most importantly, we address novel approaches to model the individual or collective behavior at various levels, consider different scales and data of different levels of precision and veracity, run model-driven simulations, and apply machine-learning algorithms to derive models from big data. An important aspect, especially in the context of machine learning, will be fairness and explainability, to address the demand for transparency, and properly deal with concerns on (data) privacy and data protection.