Making Digital Inclusive: Blending Local and Global

Track Description
Digital inclusion is the idea that all stakeholders (individual users, groups, firms, organizations, societies, countries, and regions) should have equal opportunities to participate in and benefit from digitization initiatives and related innovations. The opposites are variously known as digital inequality, digital divide, and digital exclusion. Especially in light of digital globalization, multinationals and local firms spawn digital innovations but face different challenges. Grassroots digital innovations can potentially lead to the development of global solutions, using conscious institutionalization and orchestrated diffusion initiatives. Likewise, mass global technology solutions can be creatively localized, allowing digital initiatives to become more socially and economically inclusive, mPESA and PayTM being exemplars. Digital inclusion is fundamental in a world in which only 56%[1] of its inhabitants have access to the Internet. On the public side, citizens without access to digital technologies are alienated from relevant government services and information that is crucial for their human development. Moreover, digital technologies, particularly social networks, have become central for political and economic participation. On the private side, consumers and companies that are digitally disadvantageous cannot benefit from digital globalization, which further enlarges the gap between the local and the global.

The theme track aims to address ways in which all stakeholders of digital globalization can have a shared, equitable digital future. All levels of inquiries (micro, meso, and macro) from all stakeholders’ perspectives (thought leaders, academic researchers, practitioners, consumers, organizations) and from all areas of interest are welcome. This track encourages different research perspectives such as positivist, interpretivist, and critical, and different methods (e.g. qualitative, theoretical, econometric, conceptual, network analysis, surveys, experiments, meta-analyses, case studies, data science, design, etc. or a combination of these).

Track Chairs
Sanjeev Dewan, University of California, Irvine,
Ming-hui Huang, National Taiwan University,
Leiser Silva, University of Houston,

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