An operational framework of methods for designing ethical and sustainable future digital scenarios

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Marita CaninaCarmen BrunoEva Monestier

Abstract: The rapid pace of technological innovations is changing almost every aspect of people’s lives. Indeed, digital technologies are reshaping behaviors and human interactions as well as having great impacts on the environmental, political and economic level (Schwab, 2016). In this scenario, it becomes paramount for people to be able to adapt to this increasingly digital environment to reach the so-called Digital Maturity (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2017) and to recognize and unlock the huge potentialities of emerging technologies to foster sustainable development (WEF & PwC, 2020).Such topics are being addressed and tackled by the Digital Creativity for developing Digital Maturity Future Skills (DC4DM) European Project [1], a three-year project funded by the Erasmus + Program and whose outcome will be the spread of an educational model to train students to become Digital Maturity Enablers, new professional figures up-skilled to drive the change and to creatively envision future possibilities. Digital Maturity Enablers, indeed, have to possess a set of Digital Creative Abilities (DCAs) which encompass all those competencies, attitudes and mindsets that allow them to unleash their full creative potential. The empowerment and practice of such DCAs are enabled by the DC4DM educational model, a creativity-driven design model to free learners’ creativity and ease the achievement of a Digital Maturity (Bruno & Canina, 2021).Some DCAs can be trained simultaneously and are thus grouped in the so-called Drivers, clusters of DCAs that allow learners to gain awareness on paramount topics applied to digital technologies, namely digital ethics and sustainability, collaboration, technology foresight, data collection and complexity. Within this context, the aim of the paper is to introduce an operational framework built as part of the methodology used to identify the most important methods and tools to enhance the DCAs related to ethics, sustainability and futures thinking. Indeed, an ad hoc methodology was implemented in order to provide a systematic overview of the existing resources that could be useful to develop the competencies to design responsibly and sustainably with digital technologies and to envision futures possibilities. The effort has been channeled into mapping and clustering methods, tools, techniques and formats i.e. every type of resource that could help students acquire the creative abilities included in the cross model area called “Digital Responsibility and Sustainability”. As a matter of fact, the initial draft of the DC4DM model, the starting point to conceive the methodology, consisted of three phases, namely Pre-Process, Process and Post-Process, and a cross model area which included all the ethics, sustainability and futures thinking-related abilities essential when dealing with digital technologies. In order to filter and systematize the selected resources, these three dimensions have been considered as macro-categories and some criteria identified to steer the classification process. Based on their objectives, all the resources have been mapped on the DC4DM model, sorted between the Pre-Process and Process phase and finally collected in a digital booklet. So far the booklet has been used internally by the DC4DM consortium which is actually willing to make it an open online repository accessible to anyone interested in improving specific abilities. [1]

Keywords: Creativity, Operational framework, Digital technologies, Ethics, Sustainability, Futures Thinking

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001507

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