Final Seminar: Henrik Schwabe

In this final seminar Henrik Schwabe will present his thesis investigating the effects of emerging ICTs for individual subjective well-being.
Henrik Schwabe is a Doctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK). This seminar marks his final evaluation prior to submission of his dissertation.

Digital seminar

This is a digital seminar. You may download zoom or use your web browser. Please make sure the sound is working on your computer, you will automatically be muted. If you do not have your name, or unmute yourself or start your video without being invited to do so, you may be removed from the zoom-event.

To participate in this seminar please click this link (opens 09.45 March 31) 


Henrik Schwabe’s PhD project comprises four articles investigating the effects of emerging ICTs for individual subjective well-being. A variety of data from surveys and industry-specific and official statistics are applied to study the welfare effects of pervasive technologies. The project is part of Happy ICT - Responsible Innovation and Happiness: A New Approach to the Effects of ICTs


Results show that people are responding to the massive investments in digital technologies and necessary infrastructure under the European Union’s Digital Agenda for Europe. Emerging ICTs such as high-speed broadband internet, robotics and artificial intelligence are disrupting common practices and create economic and societal transformations that are changing the way people work, communicate and navigate in their surroundings. People are spending more time using digital media and utilize the internet to consume, interact with the government and participate in a growing number of available services online. The internet has made available information about the lives of others to its users, which raises aspirations in ways that are hard to realize and makes people less satisfied with their own outcomes. Employers are requiring stronger ICT skills in their employees as more sophisticated technologies disrupt the tasks and jobs that have occupied humans in recent time. These changes have begun to manifest in individual expectations with different well-being effects for people depending on their age and skills. Exposed groups such as the young and old and those with low education or outdated skills are facing fewer employment opportunities and worse financial prospects. This reality has detrimental effects on the life and job satisfaction of workers , especially those who are employed in regions with more competition from industrial robots. 

Policy implications

In my PhD I find indications that about 40 percent of surveyed workers fear that their job may be replaced by smart machines. Is there cause for concern regarding the pervasiveness of emerging ICTs into economic structures? Perhaps, but it is possible that tabloid coverage in media and some parts of popular and academic literature stir unreasonable expectations about how exposed workers are to become replaced by technology. However, the fact that this fear is detrimental to the welfare of young and low-skilled workers, especially, should not be taken lightly. Improving worker skills in parallel with more advanced technology should be a priority to avoid exposed groups to be left behind and to make people able to perform more tasks alongside ICTs, which in turn can stimulate creativity and entrepreneurship that are crucial to future prosperity. 




Published Mar. 20, 2020 10:52 AM - Last modified Mar. 16, 2021 1:39 PM