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Into the digital age: The world in the 21st century

Opening lecture of the academic year 2015/2016 by Anthony Giddens, Professor and Member of the House of Lords

Nothing has been left untouched by the digital revolution – from personal life to the global economy or the frontiers of science – and we have yet to see the full extent of the changes it will bring. Although these transformations are still in their infancy, they have arguably catalysed the greatest period of innovation ever in human history in terms of their intensity, speed and global scope. In the social sciences, the digital revolution has thus far mostly been interpreted in terms of the rise of the internet and social media. It should, however, been seen as the increasingly complex integration of the internet, supercomputers and robotics, in which supercomputers have taken the primary role. It is a fundamental mistake to separate the ‘tech’ field from these developments, especially given that the social, political and economic implications are so profound.


Anthony Giddens (Professor and Member of the House of Lords)

Welcome and moderation:

Helmut K. Anheier (Dean and President, Hertie School)