It has been one year since we welcomed you to our first Digital Society conference. Digitalisation has – if anything – only further permeated every aspect of our lives. How we work, learn, stay healthy and participate in politics and the economy is increasingly influenced by digitalisation. It is now two years since Dutch universities joined forces and started cooperating on a collaborative research agenda. The VSNU had never before stimulated the universities to work together in such a way: in many ways, the Digital Society programme is one of a kind.

The past year has been very active for the Digital Society network. The PhD and postdoc network visited Estonia, the ‘most advanced digital society in the world’, held monthly sessions on pertinent topics, and met up with relevant societal stakeholders. The Health & Wellbeing programme line organised its own successful conference, ‘Mind Your Data’, in September 2019. Overall, the Digital Society is maturing into a known presence, contact point, and resource in the digital field in the Netherlands and beyond.

Our ambitions do not end here: new digital technologies are being developed very rapidly. Digital transformations are characterised by similar narratives of promises and fears, but they share complex questions of, for example, inclusion and participation of individuals, groups and communities. The only way to deal with such rapid changes is through further collaboration between disciplines and between academic researchers, policy makers, industry and civil society.

This e-zine has been developed on the very day of the conference, drawing on the experiences and expertise of the over 300 participants. Moreover, we hope the conference has inspired you to seek collaborations with our diverse research community. If you work on a societal challenge that you would like to explore further with a team of researchers do send in your idea to the Team Science call by 20 December.

We hope you had an enjoyable and productive day at the second Digital Society Conference. We hope to hear from you and see you again at our next annual conference in November 2020. Click here to read the e-zine about the conference.

Inald Lagendijk, Sally Wyatt and Maarten de Rijke
Programme coordinators, Digital Society