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HAPPY - Responsible Innovation and Happiness: A New Approach to the Effects of ICTs

The project intends to contribute to the responsible innovation literature by carrying out a set of conceptual and empirical studies on the socio-economic effects of ICTs, considering positive impacts as well as potential risks.

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About the project

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have in the last few decades transformed substantially several aspects of our everyday life, enabling a terrific progress for human beings both at the workplace and as individual consumers, agents and citizens. How can we assess the complex and multifaceted impacts of ICTs on individuals’ welfare, and shape ICTs research and innovation activities towards responsible trajectories? This project intends to develop a brand new line of research in the responsible innovation literature. The key idea is that what responsible innovation is must be defined by investigating how new technologies affect individual users’ subjective well-being – or happiness.

Happiness research has by now become a popular and engaging field of investigation, at the intersection between economics and psychology. Interestingly, however, this literature has not taken into consideration yet the role of advanced technologies, and in particular ICTs, and how these may shape SWB through positive effects as well as new risks. The breadth and complexity of ICTs and the pervasiveness of their effects on individuals’ well-being and quality of life call for a broad, holistic and multidisciplinary framework taking insights from innovation studies, economics and psychological approaches. The project group is truly interdisciplinary and comprises researchers from these neighboring disciplines, from the University of Oslo, NUPI and the University of Sussex.

Research will be organized along the following workpackages:

WP1: Research strategy and framework.

WP2: Data collection and methodology.

WP3: Income-mediated effects: International technology diffusion, catching up and the digital divide.

WP4: Effects on quality and type of work.

WP5: Effects on capabilities, functions and identities.

WP6: Effects on social life and communication patterns.

WP7: Digital infrastructures, environment and welfare.

WP8: Towards a responsible innovation policy.


Happy-ICT is funded by the Norwegian Research Council, SAMANSVAR programme


Coordinator: TIK Centre, University of Oslo

Partners: TIK Centre and Department of Psychology (University of Oslo); NUPI; SPRU (University of Sussex)

Published Oct. 30, 2015 9:03 AM - Last modified Aug. 13, 2019 12:26 PM