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Communication

Sustainable Digital Transformation of Disaster Risk—Integrating New Types of Digital Social Vulnerability and Interdependencies with Critical Infrastructure

1
Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection, TH Köln—University of Applied Sciences, 50679 Cologne, Germany
2
Bonn Alliance for Sustainability Research/Innovation Campus Bonn (ICB), University of Bonn, D-53113 Bonn, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9324; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229324
Received: 4 October 2020 / Revised: 8 November 2020 / Accepted: 9 November 2020 / Published: 10 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hazards and Sustainability)
This article explores the relationship between digital transformation and disaster risk. Vulnerability studies aim at differentiating impacts and losses by using fine-grained information from demographic, social, and personal characteristics of humans. With ongoing digital development, these characteristics will transform and result in new traits, which need to be identified and integrated. Digital transformations will produce new social groups, partly human, semi-human, or non-human—some of which already exist, and some which can be foreseen by extrapolating from recent developments in the field of brain wearables, robotics, and software engineering. Though involved in the process of digital transformation, many researchers and practitioners in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction or Climate Change Adaptation are not yet aware of the repercussions for disaster and vulnerability assessments. Emerging vulnerabilities are due to a growing dependency on digital services and tools in the case of a severe emergency or crisis. This article depicts the different implications for future theoretical frameworks when identifying novel semi-human groups and their vulnerabilities to disaster risks. Findings include assumed changes within common indicators of social vulnerability, new indicators, a typology of humans, and human interrelations with digital extensions and two different perspectives on these groups and their dependencies with critical infrastructure. View Full-Text
Keywords: societal resilience; uncertainty; climate change adaptation; sustainable development; transhumanism; brain wearables; disaster risk management; artificial intelligence; contingency planning; cybersecurity societal resilience; uncertainty; climate change adaptation; sustainable development; transhumanism; brain wearables; disaster risk management; artificial intelligence; contingency planning; cybersecurity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fekete, A.; Rhyner, J. Sustainable Digital Transformation of Disaster Risk—Integrating New Types of Digital Social Vulnerability and Interdependencies with Critical Infrastructure. Sustainability 2020, 12, 9324. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229324

AMA Style

Fekete A, Rhyner J. Sustainable Digital Transformation of Disaster Risk—Integrating New Types of Digital Social Vulnerability and Interdependencies with Critical Infrastructure. Sustainability. 2020; 12(22):9324. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229324

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fekete, Alexander, and Jakob Rhyner. 2020. "Sustainable Digital Transformation of Disaster Risk—Integrating New Types of Digital Social Vulnerability and Interdependencies with Critical Infrastructure" Sustainability 12, no. 22: 9324. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229324

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