A global surge in digitization is one of the consequences of the COVID 19 pandemic. However, the momentum is not equally widespread in all countries. The Transdisciplinary Laboratory for Sustainable Digital Environments at the Faculty of Business and Globalization, with the Fletcher School at Tufts University, the Medical University of Vienna, and Arizona State University, presents recent findings on the role of trust in digitization.

The study, "Digital in the Time of COVID - Trust in the Digital Economy and Its Evolution Across 90 Economies as the Planet Paused for a Pandemic," was led by Prof. Bhaskar Chakravorti, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Dean of Global Business at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and one of the world's leading researchers on digitalization. This comparative work took a closer look at the trust factor alongside the established global mapping of digital economies according to the Digital Intelligence Index.

On the one hand, the Digital Intelligence Index reflects the degree of digitization already achieved and, on the other, the current dynamics of an economy's digitization process. A gap becomes visible between well-developed and dynamic nations (Stand Out), such as the USA and Singapore, and well-developed but less dynamic nations (Stall Out). The second group includes most EU countries as well as other developed market economies such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The fact that Stall Out countries concentrate more on investing in regulatory and inclusive strategies, while Stand Out nations, in contrast, tend to adopt a more laissez-faire attitude, might explain these differences in dynamism. In short, Stand Out countries prefer a certain degree of dynamism in exchange to more regulatory protection and fairness.

What makes the difference is trusting digital services

In view of the COVID 19 situation with its palpable impact on digitization, the study highlights another key difference between Stand Out and Stall Out countries that has received little attention so far: the confidence consumers and citizens have in digital services, infrastructures and opportunities. Referring to both private companies' and government agencies' offerings. 

The study "Digital in the Time of COVID - Trust in the Digital Economy and Its Evolution Across 90 Economies as the Planet Paused for a Pandemic" identifies differences in various aspects of trust based on expectations of the regulatory environment, experience, behavior and attitudes. It gives convincing insights into attitudes collectively shared towards digitalization processes. How important these attitudes are for the future of digitization in general, but also for dealing with the effects of the pandemic and similar events in the future become clear.


Online presentation and discussion on the study results

Digital in the Time of COVID - Trust in the Digital Economy and Its Evolution Across 90 Economies as the Planet Paused for a Pandemic

Date: 27 January 2021

Start: 17:00

Site: via Zoom; after registration you will receive the access data.

Registration: until 26 January 2021, 12:00 p.m., email: events.wug@donau-uni.ac.at (Attending the event is free of charge.)

Keynote: Prof Bhaskar Chakravorti

Discussion with:

  • emer Prof Reinhard Posch, CIO for the Federal Republic of Austria, A-SIT
  • Prof Eva Schernhammer, Medical University of Vienna
  • Prof Manfred Laubichler, Arizona State University
  • Prof Peter Parycek, German Digital Council

Moderator: Prof Gerald Steiner, Danube University Krems



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