Next Digital Decade

The Hub launched our two-part series, The Next Digital Decade: Case Studies from Asia, in 2021 to trace the impact of the internet on society, politics, and life in Asia with a unique emphasis on pandemic-era changes and issues from 2020-2021. 

At the heart of this project is the intention to find work on the region from within it, and to expand the discourse to include emerging scholars with unique vantage points. In this publication you will find a wide range of themes and authors from over 10 different countries in Asia, featuring established scholars and practitioners, as well as early career academics. Asia has often been framed as a recipient of knowledge, a passive beneficiary of global best practices, and a target of development. This volume celebrates a more circular, bi-directional exchange. The “Western” English majority Internet is no longer the dominant paradigm. Local communities, governments, and companies are developing new applications and innovations, embedding local cultures and ideas in governance frameworks, e-commerce, and social media, and de-centering online spaces away from the global North.

Volume 1, titled ‘Traces and Divides’, reflects the path these case studies take: tracing the impact of the Internet on society, politics, and life in Asia, while identifying the many divides that persist. Asian societies are increasingly “digitally transformed”, but the effects are unequally distributed, and often amplify long standing power imbalances along multiple axes.

Volume 2, titled ‘Spaces and Futures’ consists of 12 case studies covering a wide range of topics such as future of work, AI governance, legal innovation, govtech, data governance, fintech and cybersecurity etc., written by scholars and practitioners of all stages of career and from multiple disciplines. The diverse digital landscape, with national and regional differences, allows us to draw multiple insights from different Asian approaches on responding to the same challenges brought by the process of digital transformation.

To mark the launch of the volumes, DAH and KAS invited the authors to participate in an in-person workshop in Singapore taking place 17-19 May 2022. The intention was to bring together a group of researchers and academics from across the region and beyond to participate in a workshop to highlight their collective experience, expertise, and diversity. 

This workshop was the first international in-person event organised by DAH and KAS, after more than two years of Zoom-based collaboration. Together, we took stock of the many technological, societal, economic, and political changes  in the past decade, to imagine and speculate on the possible futures of a world more centered on people and the planet.

Read Volume I

Download Volume I, ‘Trades and Divides,’ here

Read Volume II

Download Volume II, ‘Spaces and Futures,’ here

Post-Pandemic Futures Report

Read our summary report of our Next Digital Decade in-person workshop in Singapore from 17-19 May 2022 here.


Explore our video content here

Series Editors: Dev Lewis, Katharina Naumann, Ming Yin Ho

Copyeditor and proofreader: Ruchika Chanana

Design and typesetting: yellow too Pasiek Horntrich GbR