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Digital transformation not only provides immense opportunities for industries and governments to digitally transform themselves, it can also profoundly impact all facets of human society – from government services, education, healthcare, transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, energy, the labour market to youth work. With this in mind, multistakeholder participation is at the heart of co-creating, design and deployment of efficient, effective, robust, transparent and sustainable digital transformation ecosystems. Collectively, we need to facilitate dialogues among multiple stakeholders such as public policymakers, legal scholars, technologists, social scientists, business leaders, young people and educational institutions, to ensure responsible, inclusive, and equitable progress in the age of digitisation.

In many cases, digital transformation represents a top-down initiative led by dedicated departments and experts. Employing participatory design to digital transformation means actively involving all the relevant stakeholders, from government to youth, to achieve bottom-up innovation and create human-centred technology for sustainable transformation that meets the needs of the end-users.

One obvious benefit of participatory digital transformation is that individuals with shared interests and learning from each other, collaborate to create solutions that incorporate their collective knowledge. The collective intelligence of all the stakeholders involved produces superior results than any one individual stakeholder group would in isolation. By leveraging the wisdom of the crowd (crowd-innovation) multistakeholder participation allows them all to learn and build on each other’s ideas. Groups with a diversity of experience and opinion are capable of co-creating solutions that better serve the collective as a whole. Co-creative processes allow stakeholders to retain control as change occurs and increases their commitment to a solution because they have had influence on its conception.

“The point is not that everyone gets a voice, but that everyone who has engaged the technology and is in a position to assess its usefulness in their daily practices has the ear of those who have the power to alter its potential usefulness.” (Asaro, 2000)

Authors

Irina Buzu
Irina Buzu

Irina is a techlaw and intellectual property attorney, currently pursuing her PhD research in AI regulation with a focus on the legal status and accountability of AI. She is an emerging technologies fellow at Europuls, as well as a Algorithmic decision making cycle co-lead at the Institute for Internet and the Just Society. Most recently, she became part of the AI literacy expert group of the Council of Europe and a member of the European AI Alliance.