DWIH focus topic 2023: The resilient society

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In 2023, the global network of German Centres for Research and Innovation (DWIH) is exploring the diverse nature of the “resilient society” as its focus topic.

The question of what constitutes resilience is not easy to answer because the term has acquired various meanings over time. For example, it can refer to the ability of the healthcare system or our ecosystem to withstand crises, or it may be used on the individual level when we find ourselves facing far-reaching changes such as the digital transformation – changes that are dynamic enough to shake the very foundations of much of what we previously considered firmly established.

A “resilient society” must do justice to this complexity. In order to keep pace with the various challenges, innovation drivers from a wide variety of fields are needed. It also requires formats and places for networking in order to allow the exchange of ideas on problem solutions and to join forces.

The networking potential at the DWIH locations

Aware of the extraordinary networking potential of the DWIH locations worldwide, the Board of Trustees of the German Centres for Research and Innovation has chosen “The resilient society” as its focus topic for 2023. The centres are exploring the importance of resilience in different regions of the world and bringing together actors whose work increases the resilience of innovation systems. In doing so, topics of relevance across the various locations are being studied as well as issues that have a particular significance for the region in question.

For further information on the choice of DWIH’s 2023 focus topic, please visit the DWIH network’s website.

Technological breakthroughs not only bring prosperity and security, they also challenge a society’s ability to adapt. With its Society 5.0 concept, Japan aims to meet the challenge of keeping the focus on people while addressing the dynamics of technological change and solving economic and social problems. The aim is to achieve an equilibrium between the interlinked virtual and physical worlds for the good of society as a whole.

Living with machines

Germany is watching Society 5.0 with particular interest as it can be understood as a continuation of Industry 4.0 – the integration of advanced digital technologies into industrial processes. Interconnectedness, automation, machine learning – for the highly developed industrial nations of Germany and Japan, these are unifying themes that ultimately extend beyond purely technological issues. How societies shape modern mobility and urban coexistence is for example one topic of German-Japanese exchange.

In 2023, the DWIH Tokyo is focusing on the question of how human-machine interaction can be designed responsibly. This is a topic that aging countries such as Japan and Germany must address with great care. The DWIH Tokyo has been focusing on how rapid technological progress can be reconciled with societal balance for some time, especially in the field of artificial intelligence. In 2023, it is also turning its attention to space and the safety of space – which will play an increasingly important role in securing resilience on Earth.