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Global Interaction

At the same time, the very process of, global interaction and collaboration – today often mediated through Information Technology (IT) – is one of the most difficult and least understood aspects in human interaction.

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Global intercultural collaboration is a sine qua non when addressing current global challenges – climate, energy, health, development, and so on. At the same time, the very process of, global interaction and collaboration – today often mediated through Information Technology (IT) – is one of the most difficult and least understood aspects in human interaction. It is a notoriously hard challenge to provide collaboration support for global collaborative groups.

It is proposed to make a broad initiative aiming at developing capacity for global interaction in both companies and the public sector through competence development (culture, communication and technology), IT infrastructure, demonstrators and awareness.

Udfordring og muligheder

Global value chains are already exploited in a number of sectors including industrial production, the music industry, education and software development. Such global value chains have two key ingredients: the underlying IT infrastructure and the competence to collaborate globally (global interaction). Global value chains are needed to meet the big challenges in energy, health, water supply etc. and building capacity for global interaction is therefore a key element for maintaining competitive advantages on the global market.

Information Technology – especially the internet – has enabled interaction on a global scale that does not only consist of an increase in the amount of communication across different localities but also constitutes a new quality of global collaboration, communication and exchange. This opens up new possibilities that in turn present unresolved challenges. Historically, global interaction for leisure, political and work purposes was the purview of a minority of people such as travellers, diplomats or seafarers. However, the development and widespread usage of the internet has allowed anyone with access to contemporary IT to interact globally if they so choose, be it for global sourcing, web-shopping, or online gaming. Access to and broad adoption of IT is implicated in on-going and observable changes in how people develop and maintain relationships in multiple social contexts and what they are able to accomplish given the available technologies. Global Interaction is thus a grand challenge, not only for IT providing the tools for communication but also for societies as a whole addressing the changes these new possibilities bring.

Many Danish companies interact globally be it due to outsourcing, because they are part of a global value chain, are engaged in shipping, or collaborate in with global partners in multinational projects.


The goal is for Denmark as a whole to become a hub of expertise for global interaction across time, space, cultures, organisations, professions, nationalities and languages.


The proposal is to sponsor of research & development environments, collaborative spaces supporting exploration of innovative ways of deploying technology for global interaction. These environments should be supported by an interdisciplinary group of practioners, researchers and users.
Such research & development environments should be organised as a joint venture between interested industry, relevant public organisations and relevant researchers. It is important for research and innovation to deal with real challenges met by industry and to develop and study incremental solutions.

The research & development environments can be industry specific – e.g. for shipping industry, IT or creative industries – or addressing specific technical solutions, e.g. supporting distributed processes. The funding needs to be substantial to support iterations of empirical research, design, implementation, deployment and empirical research again.
Parallel, research initiatives should be supported that address the intercultural communication and collaboration. How do successful inter- and transcultural groups develop? How are methods and tools re-interpreted when used in a culturally different context?

Both kinds of initiatives rely on collaboration with similar environments in different parts of the world in order to allow for cross-cultural research of cross-cultural phenomena.
Last but not least, the research, development and results need to inform teaching in order to sustain the knowledge and innovation in industrial practice. Besides setting up criteria for dissemination of results into teaching, the research and development efforts must be supplemented by a massive effort in the educational system to develop global interaction competencies. Here support for the development of international study programs outside the EU and North America is essential.

De danske forudsætninger

The outlined innovation requires inter- and cross-disciplinary collaboration. The Danish school of system development brings IT development and research on Interaction Design, HCI, and CSCW close together and allows for more effective cross and interdisciplinary collaboration.

The innovation is expected to result in technology supporting global interaction and collaboration. The Danish IT sector is strong in IT product development and therefore can be expected to have the competence to productify the results.

Effekter og potentialer

Developing the competences how to support global interaction as a basis for global collaboration and cooperation will provide all Danish companies in all industries with a prominent advantage in the international competition.