Complexity Science Hub scientist Fariba Karimi develops a roadmap to connect complexity science research to digital humanism.



Complexity research for Digital Humanism

Complexity science met digital humanism for the first time worldwide at the Complexity Science Hub (CSH) from May 15 to 17.

At the heart of the workshop: a roadmap for how complexity science can concretely promote digital humanism. “The goal is to use complexity science and computer modeling to ensure that the protection and freedom of every human being remains the highest good of our society – even and especially in times of digitalization,” explains CSH researcher Fariba Karimi.


When digital technologies can be used by technology companies and authoritarian governments, for example, to undermine the private rights of individuals, people are no longer adequately protected. Through subtle but effective digital manipulation, or “nudging,” people can be influenced in ways that are not easily visible – often against their own best interests. Stefan Thurner, president of the Complexity Science Hub, comments, “It’s critical to recognize the issues involved, understand their interactions, and develop digital methods to counteract these tendencies.”

Workshop Complexity Science meets Digital Humanism at the Complexity Science Hub
Workshop Complexity Science meets Digital Humanism at the Complexity Science Hub


Complexity research focuses on the analysis and design of complex systems such as transportation networks or financial systems, taking into account their impact on people and society. Digital humanism ensures that technologies and digital systems are developed and used in ways that are consistent with core human values such as freedom, well-being, dignity and autonomy, as well as human rights and democracy. The goal of the roadmap is to identify ways in which solutions can be created by combining technical and social innovation to firmly embed key aspects of Digital Humanism.

The Complexity Science Hub’s research aims to develop methods to ensure the protection of individual rights in a digitized world. Among others, the CSH is here supported by the City of Vienna in order to further advance the research focus. This workshop is part of the WWTF-funded project “Roadmap for Digital Humanism in Complexity Science”.

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