The Digital Society Initiative is an initiative supported by all faculties of the University of Zurich. The DSI working group was constituted in August 2015 and in April 2016 the Executive Board decided to launch the DSI. In the period from 2016 to 2020, the first development phase is taking place.
Strategic and operational units
The DSI is supported by a Board of Directors with representatives from four to seven faculties of the UZH.
A Managing Office supports the board of directors and deals with administrative matters such as personnel and financial matters and communication.
The Steering Committee, consisting of the members of the Executive Board of the University and the deans of all faculties, among other things elects the board of directors, the advisory board and approves annual budgets and reports.
In addition, the Advisory Board was appointed in summer 2018. It advises the Board of Directors and the Steering Committee on the profile and activities of DSI.
As a further committee, the plenary assembly of all DSI members decides on the admission or exclusion of members and the continuation or dissolution of the DSI.
Research, Teaching and Project Management units
The operational and strategic units are complemented by staff in research, teaching and project management:
The Center for Teaching and Education is responsible for the interdisciplinary teaching of digital literacy at the University of Zurich.
The project staff is involved in various DSI projects, on topics such as Women in Big Data, responsible online research, data protection and ethics and other digitalization-related issues.
Since the beginning of 2019, the first of a total of 18 DSI professorships have been continuously filled. These professors conduct research on the causes, consequences and future scenarios of the digitalization of society, democracy, science, communication and economy.
The DSI consists of challenge areas, cross-cutting issues, research groups, professorships, fellowships and scientific services:
- Challenge Areas are research topics in various areas of the societal challenges posed by digitization.
- Cross-cutting topics concern both methodological issues and issues relevant to all problem areas.
- Research groups are usually assigned to individual problem areas and/or cross-sectional topics.
- The DSI would like to support the faculties in defining current professorships that are oriented towards the general goals of the DSI.
- DSI Fellows are either scientists of the UZH or invited external fellows who are temporarily associated with specific DSI research areas.
- Scientific services are provided by the DSI office to all scientists who are members of the DSI.