The Digital Society Symposium during Lund University 350th Anniversary, April 24-25


May 10: Handouts and video clips from the symposium now availible below.

Session 1 Monday 24 April from 9.00 to 12.30

Legal and Political Changes
in the Digital Society

09.00 Inauguration & introduction

09.20 Keynote - Lawrence Lessig, Harvard University:
How digital has destroyed democracy — and what we can do to recover it

 Keynote at YouTube

ABSTRACT: Digital society makes certain kinds of knowledge and culture possible. It makes other kinds no longer possible. In this talk, Professor Lessig explores the ways in which digital society has undermined the possibilities for democracy, and what we must change if we’re to restore a democracy that deserves respect. 

About the speaker: Lawrence Lessig is "an American academic, attorney, and political activist. He is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the former director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Lessig was a candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, but withdrew before the primaries." Source and more information:Wikipedia

11.00 LU-speakers

Data Society: Social and normative challenges in a data-driven economy (Stefan Larsson)

 Presentation as PDF |  Presentation at YouTube |  Interview with Stefan Larsson in Swedish

Speaker: Stefan Larsson

Abstract: Increasingly our behavior and everyday habits are logged, analyzed, hacked and traded amongst data-driven industries that offer personalized ads, services and security. We are increasingly the data sources of entire markets, commodifying all things logged, which both challenges and develops social as well as legal norms. This talk shows that how we understand these increasingly data-driven practices has implications for how societies attempt to regulate them, as well as for how users/consumers/citizens engage and assess them from a normative standpoint, e.g. in terms of privacy, data protection and utility.

About the speaker | More on privacy issues in a digital context: Privacy Issues in a Digital Society | Stefan will also participate 27 April 15.15 in the seminar Participatory Media and Shifting Landscapes of Security and Surveillance in the Middle East: Perspectives from the Field 

Rape culture, social media and hashtag feminism

 Presentation as PDF  |   Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Tina Askanius

Abstract: Contemporary forms of political activism are increasingly digitalized and performed in ways that traverse online and offline spaces and modes of engagement. The past decade has for example seen a considerable rise in digital forms of feminist action, leading some scholars and observers to declare the birth of a so-called ‘fourth wave of feminism’ that is intrinsically linked to the use of social media. This talk focuses on recent cases of so-called hashtag feminism on Twitter addressing rape culture to illustrate some of the important changes taking place in political activism in terms of how networked digital media are transforming feminist discourse and movements in remarkable and unforeseen ways.

About the speaker

Open Data, Open Access, Open Knowledge? Digitalization and its effect on research

 Presentation as PDF  |  Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Thomas Kaiserfeld

Abstract: In this presentation, I will highlight some of the effects of the fast digitalisation of data and how it effects the ways we are all acquiring information. On one hand, creativity and originality has become a more important competitive advantages as research data and results are more accessible. On the other, more coveted information is getting increasingly expensive through the need for big machines, expensive experiments or commercial databases. These two to some extent counteracting features are not unique to digitalization, but seems to have followed from earlier information revolutions in history as well.

About the speaker

Open Innovation and the Business of Software

 Presentation as PDF  Presentation at YouTube  |  Interview with Per Runeson

Speaker: Per Runeson

Abstract: Thanks to the zero cost of production for software, the digital business has changed. Companies may benefit from sharing open source software with customers and competitors. How can the sharing business be profitable for a software company? Who is contributing to open source software? Who are the programmers loyal to? How can software be secure, when everybody can see its weaknesses?

About the speaker

12.00 Panel discussion

Session 2 Monday 24 April from 14.00 to 17.15

Digital Communication and Media

14.00 Keynote - José van Dijck, University of Amsterdam:
Who governs the platform society?
Embattling public values in a connective world

 Keynote at YouTube

Online platforms are gradually converging with all kinds of sectors and institutions that structure Western democratic societies. From transportation to health, from education to journalism, an ecosystem of platforms is gradually infiltrating all pockets of life.  Far from being a smooth and self-evident process, the ‘platform society’ is a confrontation between different value systems, a clash of private and public interests. It involves a struggle between various social actors—governments and their institutions, global corporations and businesses, consumers and citizens—who all have stakes in the shaping of public values and common goods. This lecture will lay out a framework for discussion. How are online platforms and their mechanisms implemented in various sectors? How does the struggle for the implementation of platforms reflect and construct public values at stake in each sector and in different countries? And who is responsible and accountable for anchoring public values and defending the common good in a platform society?

About the speaker

14.45 Q&A

15.45 LU speakers

How closed is open? Reflections on the notions of open science, access and data

 Presentation as PDF   Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Jutta Haider, Lund University

Abstract: Open Access – free online access to research publications - has established itself as an issue that researchers, universities, and various infrastructure providers, such as libraries and academic publishers, have to relate to. Increasingly open access is inscribed into a larger narrative of open science, linking up various components, such as open research data, open data and open review and so forth. Commonly policies requiring open access/science are framed as expanding access to information and hence as being part of a democratization of society and knowledge production processes, but more and more also as a way to speed up research and to increase impact.

In this presentation I try to nuance the discussion of open access and open science. I discuss how the notion of open science might generate an understanding of science as closed and in need of acceleration. I will also elucidate how it often ties into problematic popular understandings of science as linearly progressing, universal knowledge and of digital technology as neutral infrastructure advancing it.

About the speaker

Underground digital audiences

 Presentation as PDF    Presentation at YouTube |  Interview with Anette Hill

Speaker: Annette Hill, Lund University

Abstract: Media industries face the pressing problem of unmeasured digital viewers. Lobato and Thomas note how informal media ‘denaturalises the taken for granted notion of audiences’ (2015:12). The case study of the cult television drama series Utopia (Channel Four, Kudos) is used to explore the lived reality of the unmeasured audience, analysing formal and informal relations across production and reception practices. Utopia attracts underground digital audiences. The drama’s dialogue about geo-politics and subversive tactics resonates with digital viewers who deeply distrust neoliberalism and shadow democracies. Rather than picturing the unmeasured audience as one big, immovable problem, we can see the many faces of piracy in the activities of Utopia fans. We may consider these fans as self-informing media citizens, consumer choice advocates, de-centralised media sharers, and activists. They see themselves as ordinary people who like being treated as intelligent viewers and who want to watch drama in their own way, streaming and binge viewing, without commercial breaks. Overall, the research argues for the soft power of illegal viewers, users and fans. Underground digital audiences push beyond commercial frames, engaging with culture in ways that complicate, frustrate and outpace traditional media.

About the speaker

The Digital Challenge: A Reconfigured Public Sphere

 Presentation as PDF   Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Tobias Olsson, Lund University

During the 20th century we learned to consider newspapers, broadcasting radio and television to be pillars of the public sphere. Despite the fact that they were very often subjects for scholarly critique, regarding a variety of presumed shortcomings (commercialization, tabloidization, etc.), these institutions were still mainly understood to be the major venues for information for and (to a lesser extent) communication among citizens.

In the second decade of the 21st century these established public sphere institutions are put under a lot of pressure. To a large extent, the pressure is caused by circumstances having to do with digitalization. Digitalization has, for instance, started to annihilate their established business models. It has also brought new demands and expectations among increasingly interactive collectives of users. This presentation will briefly recapture these developments and offer insights into how established media organizations have responded to these changes.

About the speaker

The connected author: social networks and digital platforms promoting literature

 Presentation as PDF  Presentation at YouTube

Speaker:  Sara Kärrholm, Lund University

The demands on the authors’ visibility on the book market have lately come to more and more encompass visibility in social and digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Authors as well as publishing houses and literary agents use their public profiles on these platforms in order to promote books and author brands in ways that are influenced by the social and structural codes of the different platforms. 

How does this influence the central message to the readers? Who is participating in the social situation that is taking place on the platforms and what does this say about the networks of importance for authors today? This talk will address these issues by looking closer at crime writers who are active on digital platforms, since crime writers are among the most visible authors on the contemporary Swedish book market.

About the speaker

16.45- 17.15 Panel discussion

9.00 Morning introduction



Session 3 Tuesday 25 April from 09.00 to 12.30

Local Experiences, Global Challenges

09.00 Introduction day 2

9.20 Keynote - Hu Yong, Professor Peking University:
The Internet in China: The Same, but Different

 Keynote at YouTube

Today more than 700 million people use the Internet in China, and they use it for pretty much the same reasons as people everywhere else: to connect with friends, catch up on news, watch videos and play games, and for business and shopping. Yet we all know that Chinese users face restrictions when accessing the Internet. This creates a Chinese intranet, where people experience very different information flows and patterns of cultural consumption. On this Chinese internet, netizens are however creating a new political subjectivity that help them claim and realize their citizenship. In the 21th century, Chinese “netizens” are to some extent engaging in similar struggles that “citizens” in the West were in the beginning of modernity.

About the speaker

More: Professor Hu Yong also participates in Digital Asia: Visions, Transformations, and Engagements, April 26 9.00-17.00

11.00 LU speakers

Fighting online hate speech in India and Sweden: common causes, common remedies?

 Presentation as PDF  Presentation at YouTube |   Interview with Anette Hill

Speaker: Nils Gustafsson, Department of Strategic communication, Lund university

Abstract: Online hate speech, always present during the history of the internet and the World Wide Web, has reached a level of societal importance where it is not only discussed, but also actively discussed in terms of national and international legislation and more or less local practices to come to terms with its detrimental effects on free speech and the safety of minorities and women. Global comparisons are however scarce. This presentation reports the preliminary outcomes of a Indian-Swedish joint effort to compare and understand online hate speech and in two very different countries.

About the speaker

Internet development in Africa - jump starting or lagging behind?

 Presentation as PDF   |  Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Sven Carlsson, Lund University

The development of internet on the African continent is, as the continent itself, multifaceted. In some aspects, the lack of existing infrastructure helps jumping through development steps. For example, the mobile based Mpesa payment system in Kenya was one of the earliest, globally. On the other hand, the same lack of basic infrastructure combined with inefficient organizational cultures prevent from implementing efficient information system support. This talk focuses on highlights and findings from research in Malawi. It focuses on the development and test of a mobile health application and the design of a surveillance system

About the speaker 


A Human Rights Based Approach to the Internet: New Norms and Challenges

 Presentation as PDF   |  Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Marina Svensson, Professor, Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University

In June 2016, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted a resolution on ‘the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet (A/HRC/32/L.20). The resolution was a joint initiative by countries including Brazil, Sweden, and the United States of America, but although it was adopted by consensus it faced opposition from countries such as the Russian Federation and China. The divergent views reflect different norms and positions on freedom of expression online.

About the speaker

More: Professor Marina Svensson also participates in Digital Asia: Visions, Transformations, and Engagements, April 26 9.00-17.00.

The Legal Protection of Privacy in the Context of Global Trade

 Presentation as PDF   |  Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Jonas Ledendal, Lund University

Abstract: Trade, especially trade in services, requires a free flow of data, which includes a cross-border transfer of personal data. In 1995, the European Union enacted the Data Protection Directive to enable the free flow of personal data by ensuring a high standard of protection within the Common Market. In 2016, as part of the Digital Single Market, this regime was replaced by a new legal framework, which becomes applicable in 2018. However, in the digital economy, neither trade in services nor the flow of data is confined to the EU’s Internal Market. In this presentation, I will discuss how EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation and other international legal frameworks both ensures and fails to ensure the protection of privacy in the context of global trad

About the speaker

12.00 Panel discussion

Session 4 Tuesday 25 April from 14.00 to 17.15

Digital Technology - the Sky is the Limit?

14.00 Keynote - Danica Kragic, Professor, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH:
Man and Machine - the Challenge of Collaboration

 Keynote at YouTube

Are we in a middle of robolution? Intelligent machines and AI are transforming the way we live our lives  and bring a huge potential toward automating jobs that are dull, dangerous and dirty for humans.  How long has the technology come and what are the challenges we are facing when employing machines in our daily lives? What are the ethical and moral questions we should address  prior to the deployment of such systems? 

About the speaker

15.15 LU speakers

Digital Devices and Digital Worlds - Between Infrastructure and Experience

 Presentation as PDF  |  Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Robert Willim, Lund University

Abstract: Networked digital technologies are entangled in people’s everyday life in a growing number of situations and contexts. How do these technologies move between being part of mundane invisible infrastructural relations and unfathomably processes of technological complexity? This presentation will take us all the way from exotic data centers to overlooked embodied practices together with digital companions that change the ways we live.

About the speaker

Digitizing of our physical environment - Cognitive visual systems in animals, humans and computers

 Presentation as PDF  |  Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Kalle Åström

Abstract: Although research on the visual and cognitive systems of animals and humans have produced stunning results, our understanding is still quite limited. Within computer vision the research on artificial visual systems have made stunning advances in the last couple of years, due to larger annotated datasets, better machine learning algorithms and efficient implementations of such algorithms on GPUs. Nevertheless, the understanding of artificial visual systems is still quite limited. In this talk I will give an overview of the advances in this research field and examples of recent research. 

About the speaker 

More: KalleÅström also participates in the ELLIIT Anual Workshop, April 27.

eHealth - More Questions than Answers

 Presentation as PDF  |  Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Gudbjörg Erlingsdottir

Abstract: As new eHealth techniques and systems are developed and deployed, both in the public sector and on the private market, new areas of concern are surfacing – many of which have not been foreseen by the developers themselves. This presentation will show that eHealth is a truly multifaceted area that requires a multidisciplinary perspective and discussion to be made comprehensible and practicable.

About the speaker

More on e-health: E-hälsa: Digitaliseringen av hälsa och sjukvård April 27 at 13.00-17.00

Work and Organization in a Digital Age

 Presentation as PDF  |  Presentation at YouTube

Speaker: Calle Rosengren, Lund University

Abstract: Working life is undergoing a radical change in which new digital technologies are changing the nature of labour and its organizational forms in a pervasive manner, regardless of whether it concerns qualified professionals or labourers. The framework which previously regulated the content of work, as well as when, where and how it would be conducted, is being reconsidered. A process that presents both challenges and possibilities.

About the speaker | Calle Rosengren about digitization and his research | 28  April 13.00-16.00 also organise the seminar Integrity Issues in the Digital Society

16.45- 17.15 Panel discussion

The Digital Society is one of the thematic weeks during Lund University’s year-long 350th anniversary. The week starts with this two-day symposium, April 24-25, that addresses the digital society from a number of perspectives through its 4 invited international guest and 16 scholars from Lund University.

Our ambition is to fill the Lund City Hall with a mix of students, scholars and participants from all parts of society and we are very much proud to announce that the conference involves four invited plenary speakers of particular excellence.

Program chair:

General chair:

Web and logistics:

Speaker interviews

24 April Sessions - uncut version

25 April sessions starting about 9.00

Sidansvarig: | 2017-05-12