Social and psychological aspects of digitalization

16 January 2019
Social and psychological aspects of digitalization

On the second day of the 10th Gaidar Forum 2019, a round table meeting was held to discuss the social and psychological aspects of digitalization. Opinions were expressed about the widespread introduction of digital technologies, as well as the impact of digitalization on the psychological health of a person and society as a whole. Education was seen as a way to reduce social tension in society caused by the introduction of digitalization.

The discussion was moderated by Dmitry Butashin, Vice-Rector of RANEPA, and Wilfried Bergmann, Deputy Chairman of the Board of the German-Russian Forum. Alexander Asmolov, Director for Humanitarian Policy, RANEPA; Ardin Jalali, director of international programs at Steinbeis University; Grigory Asmolov, Researcher, Institute of Russia, Royal College of London; Wolf Stelzner, professor of psychology at the University of Potsdam; Edward Galazhinsky, rector of Tomsk State University, and Harald Pechlaner, director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the European Academy of Bolzano took part in the discussion.

Moderators opened the section with identification of the main challenges that digitalization poses today, penetrating all spheres of society. “The range of problems primarily affects the labor market and education. There is a question about the willingness of people to embark on the path of change, about responsibility for the risks that arise,” says Dmitry Butashin. “Digitalization is a new matter, which is only gaining development momentum, but our society is not yet able to cope with this process, we still don’t know exactly how it will develop. One thing is clear: the introduction of technology entails global changes in our lives,” adds Wilfried Bergmann.

Harald Pechlaner considered the problem from a spiritual point of view. In his speech, the expert raised the question of how a modern person should deal with religion in the world of digitalization, whether religion as such will exist or whether digitalization will take its place. “We will face a new spirituality,” Harald notes. “Nevertheless, such a radical focus on technology should not let out the human and humane foundations of being”.

Alexander Asmolov continued the discussion, pointing out the educational aspect of digitalization. “It is necessary to answer the question whether society is ready for the changes, transformations, and new challenges of uncertainty that the future throws to us. For us, the key factor of all transformations is the total change in education, the development of super-speed in the field of personnel retraining,” stressed Alexander Asmolov.

“If we clearly understand today that the future is backed up with a strategy of readiness for change and a clear understanding of the unity of ethical principles and technological progress, then the picture of the world will change in an optimistic direction. Of course, on the one hand, total digitalization is a huge risk, but on the other hand, it offers  huge opportunities, it is very important to actualize them in the right direction,” the participants of the round table concluded.

Olga Soboleva, RANEPA


All records of live broadcasts from the Gaidar Forum 2019

10th Gaidar Forum Organizers:

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Prosveshcheniye publishing house, Coca-Cola, Pharmstandard group, ACIG Group of Companies, the Russian Textbook Corporation, SANOFI, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Russian Railways, MSD, and Mastercard; EY, Cisco and Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners. This discussion’s partners are Philips, Cherkizovo and RVC.

The general information partners of the Gaidar Forum include the Rossiya 24 TV channel, Forbes global media company, RBC and TASS news agencies. The official information agency is Rossiya Segodnya. The general radio partner is Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishers, the RT TV channel, Interfax and Gazeta.RU. The main information partners are Profil weekly, FederalPress news agency, and Invest Foresight online magazine. The international information partners are Sputnik and Cision. Other media partners include PRIME news agency, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, RNS news agency, Radio Ekho Moskvy, News.Ru,, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, the PRO BUSINESS TV channel, Strategia magazine, AK&M, BRICS, Ekonomika i Zhizn weekly, National Banking Journal, Expert Tatarstan magazine, the Smart Country information platform, Financial One, Naans Media, and the Public Administration scientific political journal.

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