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About the network

Digital “information and communication technologies” (ICT/ICT) not only determine our working world but also our everyday life and have found their way into the furthest corner of our private sphere. They open up new possibilities, often make our tasks easier, accelerate exchanges between people and potentially raise them to a global level. At the same time, these developments are associated with risks. Because these technologies are crucial to human interaction, economic activity and democratic action, they can affect privacy, freedom of speech, participation in the democratic process, innovation and the open exchange of information.

Based on the scope of the digital challenge for people, society and science, it is impossible to address the full range of issues. Nevertheless, in recent years the University of Graz has succeeded in building up and expanding the necessary expertise in specific areas. The focus is on the examination of the use of ICT in the context of the humanities ("ICT in SSH"; Digital Humanities), and on the necessity of taking the "human factor" into account in the development and implementation of ICT products and services ("SSH in ICT").

The interdisciplinary network "Human Factor in Digital Transformation" pursues three goals:

  • Consolidation of the topic "Digital Transformation" in the faculties of the university
  • Building interdisciplinary expertise in the international scientific community
  • Presence in social discourse

These are to be achieved by bringing together existing competencies at the University of Graz. Concrete steps towards achieving these goals are the establishment of a top-level HFDT junior research group, joint intensified networking with the (inter)national scientific community (based on the already ongoing CO:OP, DARIAH, CLARIN, ERIC, GAMS, ILO, TRUESSEC.eu projects) and accelerated participation in (inter)national competitive third-party funded projects.

The network has been founded in 2017 as an intra-university project "The Human Factor in Digital Transformation" at the University of Graz and includes monthly meetings (internal professional exchange of information), research exchange in interdisciplinary seminars (research-linked teaching; especially doctoral students), a Ring-VO (open-access lecture series) on relevant topics, workshops (expert rounds; internal, national and international), symposia (national, international) and the invitation and hosting of external guests.

On 10th January 2019, HFDT has been formally founded as a research network at the University of Graz with a resolution by the rector’s office.

The network aims to strengthening interdisciplinary cooperation in three central areas:

  1. Events: Networking with the (inter-)national scientific community (based on the already running projects CO:OP, DARIAH, CLARIN, ERIC, GAMS, ILO, TRUESSEC.eu), workshops (expert panels; internal, national and international), symposia (national, international).
  2. Teaching: joint teaching activities (especially at the doctoral level) and the establishment and expansion of an HFDT junior research group.
  3. Research projects: participation in (inter-)national competitive calls for projects and conducting interdisciplinary research projects.

Netzwerk - Human Factor in Digital Transformation

Univ.-Prof. Dr. phil.

Kathrin Marie Otrel-Cass


Institute of Education Research and Teacher Education

Contact person

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