Suc­cess­ful dig­i­ti­za­tion is not a ques­tion of bio­log­i­cal age.”

iRights.Lab direc­tor Philipp Otto was one of three key ini­tia­tors recent­ly invit­ed to lead the dis­cus­sion on the tele­vi­sion mag­a­zine Sen­Con, broad­cast on Alex Berlin. In it, he spoke with cit­i­zens from dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions about the ques­tionof how to make every­one a part of the dig­i­tal soci­ety.

Dig­i­tal change — For they know not what they’re doing” was the title of the dis­cus­sion broad­cast by the Berlin-basedTV chan­nel. Experts and ran­dom­ly select­ed cit­i­zens from Berlin were invit­ed to the Alex Berlin stu­dio to dis­cuss, as part of the Sen­Conseries, the ques­tion of whether we actu­al­ly under­stand what tech­no­log­i­cal progress means for our lives and whether this is influ­enced the age of peo­ple in a soci­ety.

The role of pol­i­cy­mak­ers was also exam­ined, includ­ing whether they will be able to cre­ate the nec­es­sary frame­work to ensure that no one feels left behind by rapid devel­op­ments in dig­i­tal­iza­tion.

In addi­tion to the jour­nal­ist and author Madeleine Hof­mann, Yan­nick Haan, SPD board mem­ber for Berlin-Mitte, and Philipp Otto, direc­tor of iRights.Lab, were invit­ed as experts and ini­tia­tors.

The ques­tion of dig­i­ti­za­tion is not a ques­tion of bio­log­i­cal age, but a ques­tion of inter­est. The deci­sive fac­tor is how open-mind­ed some­one is and how open they are to new things,” Otto said dur­ing the dis­cus­sion. It is impor­tant, he empha­sized, nei­ther to exclude older nor younger peo­ple from tech­no­log­i­cal progress.

We need to explain to peo­ple how cer­tain things and process­es work. And we must also make it clear that, with some devel­op­ments, we do not yet know where the jour­ney is tak­ing us,”Otto con­tin­ued. “But we must ask the right ques­tions and work togeth­er in order to find the ade­quate answers.”

A cen­tral tenet to be con­sid­ered here is that access to dig­i­tal infra­struc­ture and the pos­si­bil­i­ties of dig­i­ti­za­tion are ulti­mate­ly in the pub­lic inter­est.
Madeleine Hof­mann stressed that there is
no sin­gledemand being made by either the younger or the older gen­er­a­tiontoday. “It is much more a ques­tion of incor­po­rat­ing dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ences and per­spec­tives into the dis­cus­sion about a dig­i­tal soci­ety,” she remarked.

Yan­nick Haan called for a “change of men­tal­i­ty” in edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy. “It’s all about hav­ing the right equip­ment and han­dling itcom­pe­tently. It is about fur­ther train­ing our teach­ers so that we do not leave younger peo­ple alone with dig­i­ti­za­tion.”

You can find the whole pro­gram in the media library at Alex Berlin.

Here you can also find Madeleine Hofmann’s new book Macht Platz!, which deals with prej­u­dice against young peo­ple in today’ssoci­ety.