From Digital Futures to Digital Present: How has the Post-Pandemic World reshaped our digital lives?

Overview

The Covid pandemic has prompted many changes in the way citizens interact with each other, and the extent to which these interactions are regulated and managed by the government and public authorities. At the core of these changes is an exponential increase in reliance on digital technology. Much of daily life has transferred into the online realm, and new regulatory regimes, as well as core social, health and economic services, are heavily dependent on smart apps, video conference tools and track and trace technology.

The question of how far these new norms and practices are temporary measures to be dialled back once a vaccine is rolled out, or whether they are here to stay and will profoundly reconfigure the pace and ‘space’ of post-Covid life is one of increasing importance for academics and wider society to address.

This event will bring together expertise from across the University of Manchester's Digital Futures network to debate this question across a range of different arenas.

Event structure

  • 10.00am - 11.15am: Public facing talks and Q+A (topics below, titles TBC)
  • 11.30am - 12.45pm: Internal research workshop (UoM staff only)

Topics to be addressed include:

  • How will democratic practice adapt?
  • Will we see an increasing switch to remote methods of voting and campaigning as well as a growth in virtual parliaments?
  • Is online learning the new ‘normal’ for schools and colleges?
  • To what extent can we retain the environmental benefits of a global lockdown?
  • Misinformation is the new ‘normal’ and conspiracy theory is now circulated in a way that rivals or challenges mainstream outlets?
  • Have scientists become politicians or is policy making now being driven by scientific research?
  • And, within academe, what areas of research and development should be prioritized by funding councils and to what extent do research practices themselves need to be reviewed and made more agile to respond to future similar crises?

Tell us your thoughts

We want to hear your views on these topics, or on any other relevant topics from your own area of expertise.

Please share your ideas ahead of the event via our short survey.

If you'd like to give a talk at the event, please contact us.

Digital Futures:

Digital Futures is a highly interdisciplinary network which operates across the whole range of the University’s digital research.

This is a cross-theme Digital Futures event between Health & Care, Citizens & Government and Social Media & Networks themes.