Grasping the future of the digital society

Tomi Dufva, Mikko Dufva

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    117 Citations (Scopus)
    474 Downloads (Pure)


    Society is increasingly digitalised and connected, with computers and algorithms mediating much of people’s daily activity in one way or another. The degree of digitalisation and its consequences are challenging to understand because most people lack first-hand experience of what digitalisation actually feels like. Digitalisation is abstract and difficult to grasp, which leads to a detached sense of the digital surroundings. In this paper, we argue that in order to grasp the nature and future of a digitalised society, an embodied understanding of digitalisation is needed. Such an understanding should utilise ways of knowing other than rational thinking, challenge existing narratives and move from preparing for the future to exploring novelty. We focus on the importance of a broader understanding of digitalisation within the field of education and discuss how a more diverse view is essential to empower people to take part in a digitalised society. We use the concept of ‘digi-grasping’ to analyse awareness and involvement in the digital world. By digi-grasping we mean active sense-making and existing in a world that consists of both a digital and a physical world. We argue that through ‘grasping’ the digital world it is possible to create an ethical and aesthetic attachment to society. Digi-grasping can empower people to understand and question the choices and motivations behind current digital structures and create new structures. It is thus an important approach to shaping the futures of digital society. We illustrate the concept with examples representing different modes of being and doing at the interface of the digital and physical.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17-28
    Number of pages12
    Early online date23 Nov 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • digitalisation
    • digital society
    • Experiential foresight
    • Craft Education
    • Art education
    • Artistic reseaerch
    • Embodied learning
    • Critical theory

    Field of art

    • Contemporary art


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