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The DSI Community Communication focuses on research related to communicative challenges in a digital society.
Our vision is a digital society that exploits the full potential of communication while avoiding negative outcomes.

We aim to realize this goal by working as an interdisciplinary collaboration platform that is open for all UZH researchers and affiliates interested in contributing to our mission, thus serving the Zurich, Swiss, and international society. By focusing on technological, social, psychological, economic, ethical, political, legal, and linguistic aspects of communication, we research three main challenges:

  • News: e.g., algorithms, trust, user generated content and its moderation, …
  • Social Relations: e.g., social influence/support, collaboration, …
  • Entertainment: e.g., e-sports, streaming services, …


Realizing the potential of information and communication technologies requires a comprehensive understanding of its functional and dysfunctional implications.


The DSI Community Communication aims to understand, deliberate about, and shape communication and its societal implications in a digital society.


In the community we coordinate activities in research, teaching, and society outreach to maximize and accelerate the impact for digital society.

Community facts






What questions about digitization are on your mind? And how has your life changed with the digital transformation? Digitization is presenting society and science with new challenges. It is taking hold of a large part of our lives at an ever faster pace.

The Digital Society Initiative (DSI) was founded at the University of Zurich in 2016. The DSI supports scientists in their research and teaching on the digital transformation and is the competence center of the University of Zurich, where the impact of digitization is researched and bundled across all disciplines.
The Digital Society Initiative also aims to engage in dialogue with a broad public. The DSI at the University of Zurich wants to critically reflect on the digital transformation and look at it from different angles. This is not about technological novelties, but much more about ethical, legal, social and economic aspects that need to be discussed. It is about people and their role in our digitalized world.

Understanding Communication

Our vision is a digital society that exploits the full potential of communication while avoiding negative outcomes.

The Community Communication was founded in 2017. Since then, we examined the phenomenon of digital communication through various interdisciplinary projects, workshops, meetings, and other events.

As members get a chance to present their current projects or future project ideas, the community itself serves as a platform for communication, as researchers are given feedback, notes, and new ideas by other researchers independent of their discipline. Furthermore, the community connects members with similar interests for future research.

Apart from research projects the community serves as a platform to share knowledge. Education is an important part of our community; therefore, we offer workshops focusing on different knowledge areas e.g. computational data analysis.

The DSI has a certain budget for every community. With these funds they are financing community intern projects. This year three of our proposals received funding:

Prof. Dr. Thomas N. Friemel and Nico Pfiffner are working on developing a data donation framework that will help researchers to support citizens becoming data donors. For more information on the project click here.

Dr. Sarah Geber received the DSI Fellowship for her project Tracing Technology Acceptance during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Interdisciplinary and International Perspectives. For more information about her project click here.

In this workshop, Dr. Gerold Schneider and Dr. Martin Wettstein present key current methods and use them hands-on in R and other tools. The methods comprise, but are not limited to: Keyword extraction, Collocations, Topic Modeling, Network analysis, Conceptual maps.

Know more about our work.

To understand communication in a digital world, our members conduct various project.

Get in touch

Questions, inputs or just want to get to know us? Contact us here.

Membership in the DSI Community Communication is open to researchers affiliated with a Swiss university. For other individuals, membership is conditional on an ongoing cooperation with the DSI Community. To become a member of a DSI Community, membership in the DSI Network is required. Please follow this link.

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