Media, Technology & Society

About Media, Technology & Society

The Research Group Media, Technology & Society, part of the Creative Business Research Centre, conducts research on the effect of technology on society, with a particular focus on digital media, human rights and online platforms. Under the supervision of Professor Ben Wagner, we design our research to have a concrete impact on society and strive towards more human-centric technologies.

Our research focusses on three main areas:

  • How to integrate human rights into digital technologies.
  • How technological ecosystems can be made more sustainable.
  • Reimaging the role of technology in society.

Sustainable socio-technical-systems

In doing so, we respond to a widespread demand for less harmful socio-technical-systems that can sustainably exist in modern societies. Given the existing intertwining of technology and digital media in our daily existence, this is no small challenge. From the power of the big tech companies that determine the success of whole industries, to parliamentary elections partially determined by the whims of dominant platform algorithms.

Today’s large online platforms provide wonderful new possibilities and opportunities, but is unclear whether they can be sustainable on the longer term. What is the cost of being dependent on a few big tech companies?

For students and partners working in the industry

The programme of Media, Technology & Society involves both research and teaching, based on actual challenges raised by professionals working in public and private sectors or civil society. Under the supervision of Professor Ben Wagner we offer students in The Sustainable Media Lab the opportunity to develop solutions for key challenges to sustainable media together with our partners. For these students, this is a great opportunity to gain experience with sustainable media on the ground, to familiarize themselves with new ideas and approaches and to better conceptualize sustainable media within a broader societal context.

Partners are challenged by students to think more deeply about their research questions and are provided with ideas and inspiration as well as tangible outputs - which we then further explore in our own applied research.

Collaborating with Media, Technology & Society

Interested in working with us? In principle, there are three different levels of partnership that are possible:

  • Give a talk at The Sustainable Media Lab: enrich the lab with your knowledge and ideas.
  • Co-organize an event with the Lab: work together with the lab in organizing a workshop, symposium or other event related to the work of the lab.
  • A Lab project partnership: work together with students at the Lab to solve a problem you can't resolve alone.

Would you like to collaborate? Send an email to Professor Ben Wagner.

Reach out to Ben Wagner

Sustainable Media Lab

How can digital media systems operate sustainably?

The Sustainable Media Lab in The Hague brings together researchers, experts and practitioners to discover how digital media systems can operate more sustainably. This question is particularly topical, given the rapid technological changes and the growing role of technology in society. What is the significance of digital media in this and how can they operate more sustainably?

Professor Ben Wagner is the director of the Sustainable Media Lab. The Lab is based in The Hague and works closely together with students at the Faculty of Creative Business at Inholland.

For practice-based research around these and other questions, we work with the field to investigate how media systems can be organized in a different way. This does not only involve media companies; many other partners contribute as well, since virtually every sector is affected by the growing influence of digital media and technology. The Sustainable Media Lab wants to open our eyes so we can make conscious choices and help develop more sustainable alternatives.

Read more about The Sustainable Media Lab

Student-driven research programme

In the 2022 fall semester, the Sustainable Media Lab will launch its latest student-driven research programme: Media and Justice. With support from professional partners and community members, our students will develop broadly accessible, interdisciplinary portfolios on a variety of topics, such as misinformation, journalism in crisis areas, access to quality media, and much more. Our students will investigate:

  • how users understand and experience these concepts,
  • how digitization can amplify existing problems,
  • who controls the finances and content in this arena,
  • and how we can amplify heroes within this space.

Student research projects

From the 2022 spring semester at the Sustainable Media Lab

The municipality of The Hague and Den Haag FM

The municipality of The Hague and Den Haag FM asked students to use an investigative journalistic mindset to conduct a deep-dive investigation into some of the current issues within media, technology, and society and how young local residents of The Hague understand these current issues. Using this research, students designed a short podcast series that is educational and entertaining in nature.

Greenhost

Greenhost is a socially responsible digital infrastructure company that offers private and secure cloud hosting and services and custom support to value-aligned people and organizations. They asked students to create awareness that environmentally sustainable and socially responsible digital infrastructure is necessary, possible, and ultimately required for a better world and society. The students created a guerilla marketing campaign with street art to build this awareness.

Hivos

Hivos is an international development organization that aims to contribute towards just, inclusive and life sustaining societies where people have equal access to opportunities, rights and resources. Hivos asked students to investigate the opportunities and threats of NFTs for the global art world and works toward prototyping a more sustainable business model for NFTs within the international creative and cultural industries. The students developed a guidebook and workshops aimed at artists, activists, and NFT consumers seeking more ethical products.

Research projects of Media, Technology & Society

MediaNumeric

MediaNumeric is an Erasmus+ funded programme to develop teaching tools for multimedia data-driven journalism and media production. Although we live in a datafied society, creative professionals are too often unaware of how they can use data and how it will make their work stronger.

Read more about MediaNumeric

How we conduct the MediaNumeric research

We just completed a needs analysis: what should we offer in our curricula according to experts and future professionals in the creative industry? We are now designing trial versions of student workshops that evolve into modular courses that will eventually be accessible online. Lessons learned from the project will be introduced in the Inholland Creative Business curriculum.

 

Digital Rights Week

We have recently received funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) to develop and execute a Collaborative Online International Learning project (COIL or VIS in Dutch) with an international partner. Together we will develop and execute a Digital Right Week education programme for students enrolled in the Sustainable Media Lab and students at the international partner. This programme will run in Spring 2023. Together they will collaborate on a research project about digital rights. Students will research public knowledge of digital rights using guerilla marketing techniques. Based on their results, students will develop a digital exhibition to showcase their findings.

Dutch Media Week Exhibition

We are developing an exhibition about What is Sustainable Media? for Dutch Media Week 2022 in The Hague. This exhibition will feature the work of past and current students. The goal is to help visitors better understand what sustainable media is and how students are imaging the future of media in a more sustainable way. The exhibition will be participatory in nature.

Digital Rights Research Team

The role of technology

Our digital lives are taking flight. Technology is developing rapidly and policy and strategic decision makers are not able to keep up, resulting in reactive behavior and unknown threats for citizens in modern society. Moreover, technology can lead to inequality and exclusion as demonstrated in the Dutch childcare benefits scandal.

Read more here

Focus of the research 

The aim of the Inholland Digital Rights Research Team, co-founded by Professors Wina Smeenk, Ander de Keijzer and Ben Wagner, is to focus their work on the social, economic, cultural, communication, design and technological elements leading to a digitally responsible society. We research on what technology in our digital age can contribute to the quality of peoples’ lives.

The professor of Media, Technology & Society

Ben Wagner
Ben Wagner
Ben Wagner
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