Preface: Digital Society? The Great Transformation21
Globally, economies and societies are going through the most fundamental change in history. We are experiencing the displacement of the Old World, as we have come to know it, by the New World, which is still largely unknown. It is the origin of a new order and a new societal functioning—a new kind of societal revolution. I called this process “Great Transformation21” in my book about “Governance” back in 1997. It will change almost everything: What we do, how we do it and why we do it—and, lastly, who we are. In just a few years almost everything will be new and different: How we manufacture, transport, finance and consume, how we educate, learn, do research and innovate; how we share information, communicate and cooperate; how we work and live. That will also change who we are.
A new dynamic order is forming, and—more importantly—so is a new mode of functioning of society and its organizations. Digitization is one of the most powerful of several major driving forces. Its full potential will be exploited by an equally powerful force which is a new kind of management, governance and leadership. It is the system‐cybernetic kind of managing complex systems. As I will later show, both have much in common since they had their birth at the same time and in same place.