What we do

Digitalization is a social megatrend in full flow. It is not just production processes in factories that are affected by it, but also our everyday consumption and communication: we shop online, stream videos from the internet and communicate via e-mails and social networks. Digitalization will gain speed in the next few years – with billions of machines, products and people being connected more and more in the “Internet of Things” by means of computer-assisted technologies. This will change our society fundamentally, with it becoming a complex “cyber-physical system”.

Smart Green World?

Picture: Bloomicon/Shutterstock.com.

Will the future be a smart green world in which everyone benefits from technological progress while the environment is preserved? Or are we heading into a digital growth economy in which wealth and influence are concentrated among few and humankind reaches the planetary boundaries even more quickly, for example due to global warming? In the research group, we examine these questions in the areas of smart mobility, e-commerce and smart homes. We analyse whether resource consumption can be reduced through digital technologies, or whether consumption is rather stimulated and resource consumption increased. We also analyse whether digitalization will more likely lead to the participation of many or to the concentration of the advantages among few. With our research, we want to help shape future developments.

To this end, we bring together five different scientific disciplines and work closely with practitioners from the start-up community, civil society and politics.