Social Innovation for the Sustainability

Call for papers

Theme of the fourth monographic of the Seventeenth Magazine: Interdisciplinary Investigation for the Sustainable Development Objectives

This edition´s academic editors: Celia Fernández, UPM Professor, David Pastor Escuredo, itdUPM Investigator and Jesús Salgado, UPM Professor

Date for the reception of the articles: November 4th, 2020

Motivation for the monographic

fourth number: Ethics and Digital Revolution

We understand digital revolution as the social, economic and cultural transformation processes that is occurring due to the massive adoption of various digital technologies: Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big Data, augmented reality, collaborative platforms, the cloud, or Blockchain, among others. We are at what many consider to be the dawn of a new industrial revolution. A revolution that offers indubitable benefits to societies but still presents certain challenges and dilemmas, as well as it makes us reflect deeply upon the human condition and organizations, and raises questions about what our future will be like, more and more digital by the minute,

In this scenario, the frame of ethics and human rights becomes quintessential, due to the fact that it is necessary and ethical for our technological advance to improve our societies and reduce injustices and inequalities, at the same time as we develop mechanisms to mitigate possible risks and negative impact. Also, ethics are key to configure brand new visions and standards for a society in the coming digital world.

A focus on our 2030 Agenda and people focused technologies

Undoubtedly, ethics and digital revolution are cornerstones for the 2030 Agenda. This Agenda was born out of an accord and compromises all of the states in the world to work on building an inclusive, sustainable, prosper and resistant future for the people and for the planet, and to reach goals of universal application by 2030. The digital revolution is intersected with all the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and can act as a very powerful catalyst, but also reaching these goals can prove quite a challenge. In this sense, technology has also acted as a motor of growing inequality and even some uses of smart technologies are creating access barriers to a series of social rights for those who don´t have access to the internet or to technological capacities.  

Only a people and social focused digital development could lead us to a responsible and improved evolution of technological societies. This articulating principle must be translated into various mechanisms (regulatory, political, participative, methodological, etc.) for which ethics is of grave importance. Also, ethics and technology are key to overcome the potential contradictions that can rise out of the progress towards de 2030 Agenda.

“The digital future that we desire”

New society models require changes that we aim to co-create in a collective way. To do this, we propose a flexible frame with three-time horizons: the present, the future in the scope of the agenda (10 to 15 years) and the transition[1].

Horizon 1: Present: Is the analytic space regarding how we are performing and our current preoccupations. We wonder: Which aspects of the application of digital technology must be abandoned and which of them must be conserved, based on a social and ethical point of view? What economic, political, technological, or social forces slow down or accelerate change?

Horizon 2: Transition: How do we connect the technology that is available today with our vision for Horizon 3? This is the space to show which initiatives in the public and private spheres we consider well focused and which one we must propose. We can also analyze how other types of governmental, company and organizational initiatives can lead us astray from our aspirations. This is also the space to analyze how, for example, regularization can either help or halt our progress.

Horizon 3: The future that we aspire to reach with the help of the digital revolution: How do we visualize a future in our technological societies that can reflect our aspirations in various areas? Which roll will technology play in this future? How will it be managed?

Types of publications

In this issue, complete 6.000-word articles Will be edited (see publication criteria), as well as short contributions (“notes and collaborations” section) particularly recommended for the focus on “The digital future that we desire”. We emphasize the publication in any field, sector, SDG or theorical or transversal aspects.

 Please check the publication norms to keep in mind for the articles to present.

For any complementary information you can send an email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

[1] The three-horizon framework as a reasoning model was proposed by Bill Sharpe in his book of the same name. You can look at an introduction to the concept here: https://youtu.be/_5KfRQJqpPU