| 07.10.2022

Sustainable digitalization the theme of a think tank organized by ENGAGE.EU

Personer i ett mötesrum
Sustainable digitalization and technological development was the theme of the think tank organized by the university alliance ENGAGE.EU in Mannheim at the end of September. Hanken, a member of the alliance since May, was represented by Associate Professor Mikael Laakso.

Porträttbild av Mikael Laakso
Mikael Laakso

According to Laakso, the think tank was very useful, especially for getting to know other European researchers active and interested in similar themes. Part of a group of 16 researchers, Laakso was invited to the think tank based on his research plan and application.

“My research plan deals with the troubling development that has taken place in the academic publishing sector, where digitalization and the prevalent business models have created a very distorted market division among companies. With only a handful of large companies now dominating the market, they have the power to dictate prices, leading to much of tax revenue going up in smoke, as well as to influence how academic communication takes place and is shaped,” says Mikael Laakso.

The goal of the think tanks of ENGAGE.EU is to offer researchers a common arena for exchanging experiences, acquiring knowledge and finding new opportunities for collaboration. In Mikael Laakso’s case, the think tank immediately led to new collaboration.

“In the near future, I will write an article jointly with a researcher from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria. The article will shed light on how large academic publishing houses have used company acquisitions and other mechanisms to gradually expand and become the dominating market forces they are today.”

In addition to collaborating with one another, the think tank participants had the opportunity to hear talks given by other researchers, as well as by companies such as Bosch and SAP. 

The ENGAGE.EU university alliance comprises leading European universities in business, economics and social sciences, and its goal is to strengthen the skills and competence required to deal with major societal challenges. The following think tank, focusing on gender studies, will be organized in early 2023 in France.

Photo of the think tank: Katrin Glueckler