The supply of information and services has largely moved to the Internet and offline alternatives are becoming less and less available. Social media and content creation play an important role in everyday life. A growing number of jobs in all industries and organizations require digitally skilled personnel. The possibilities of devices connected to the Internet - the Internet of Things - are constantly expanding by means of Artificial Intelligence. Just a few trends that emphasize that access to the internet is a precondition for participation now and in an increasingly digital future.
Digital inclusion suggests that everyone can benefit from the possibilities of Internet (technology). As such, it is an important policy objective. To support parties pursuing digital inclusion - internationally, nationally, provincially and locally, - our research focuses on the identification and explanation of the underlying mechanisms, on mapping the benefits and risks of technology, on identifying those who are at risk being excluded, on formulating policy measures and interventions, and on evaluating best practices. Based on a strong scientific basis, we try to answer questions such as: How can government institutions digitally include difficult-to-reach groups in its services? What digital skills do employees need and how can these be improved? How can developers of smart devices serve less skilled users? What negative effects does internet use have and who experience these the most? What does the transition to a complex Internet of Things system mean for users? How do policymakers ensure a society in which everyone can benefit from digital opportunities?
With over 25 years of experience in digital inclusion research, a strong international team, and a base at the University of Twente ( people-first university of technology), answers are sought to these and other questions. We use traditional research methods (such as surveys, interviews, focus groups) and new methods that are enabled by the technical environment of the University of Twente (eye tracking, virtual reality, digital diaries, serious gaming, log data, network analysis).