Martin Gren

Research seminars about the anthropocene and digital changes

Erdelina Kurti and Martin Gren presented research findings on April 1, 2016.

The first seminar was about how managers' knowledge enable and hinder successful change into a digital business model. How come that some exiting organizations succeed with their transformation from non-digital into digital, while other fail? Mrs Erdelina Kurti, Doctoral Student at Linnaeus University, presented an ongoing study that addresses a key aspect of that fundamental question. Her study focuses on how managers' knowledge can both hinder and facilitate the transformation from a non-digital into a digital business model.

One key message stated that mangers who have never worked with digital businesses will most likely use their knowledge and experience from non-digital in their attempts to develop digital businesses. This, in turn, will lead to wrong decisions as digital businesses manifest some unique characteristics that cannot be found in non-digital businesses. Examples of these peculiarities include the elimination of marginal costs, radical reduction of transaction costs and the strong network effects that may lock in customers in one business model and thus lock out other businesses from the market.

The Anthropocene

"The Anthropocene and the digital" was the title of the presentation by Martin Gren, Associate Professor of Tourism Studies at Linnaeus University. Martin gave a brief overview of scientific, political and ethical challenges ushered in by the Anthropocene (a proposed term for a new geological epoch now being a matter of concern also in the social sciences and the humanities). Knowledge of Anthropocene matters, such as the Earth System, and is mediated by digital technologies. The possibilities for the Anthropos ("humanity") to navigate the Anthropocene will be dependent upon digital mediation. The Anthropocene understanding of humans as a geophysical force challenges conceptualizations of the digital as ontologically neutral, a dematerializing force or makes invisible the geophysical effects and consequences of the digital.