IC Digital Transformation of the Working World


    Digital transformation is a fundamental, pervasive social phenomenon affecting every area of society. The associated radical changes are often compared with those of the first industrial revolution.

    The fast and radically changing Swiss working and professional world is more strongly affected than other areas. What is the role of humans in a digitalised world? What kinds of skill set count in a digital society? What is the impact of new technologies on work and leadership processes? The Interdisciplinary Cluster (IC) “Digital Transformation of the Working World” has been dedicated to this thematic area since 2018.

    The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) is investing in the development and implementation of interdisciplinary projects revolving around digital transformation in the working world, the interaction between technology and management models, and the effects of digitalisation on both individuals and for society at large. To produce sustainable results for the benefit of industry, society and politics alike, the topic is approached from an overarching perspective. Accordingly, specialist teams collaborate across Schools and disciplines: the IC is co-headed by Professor Rolf Kamps (School of Engineering and Architecture) and social anthropologist Professor Simone Gretler Heusser (School of Social Work). They are supported by a range of experts from the Schools of Engineering and Architecture, Business, Information Technology, Social Work, Art and Design, and Music.

    The IC seeks to build and showcase pathways to creating a working world that is future-oriented and socially responsible in equal part. Focused and in pursuit of a clear mission, it coordinates the transdisciplinary collaboration between numerous experts from across the HSLU’s Schools, thereby generating new work priorities and fields of competence and positioning the university as a strong partner in a national and international context.

    In the framework of this interdisciplinary cluster, five interconnected focal topics are being investigated. The associated research projects investigate questions associated with two focal themes:

    The focal themes

    • Competitive and adaptive workers
    • Resilient and innovative organisation
    • Predictive and use-centred technology
    • Digitalised and personalised education
    • Data-based and human-centred health

    Competitive and adaptive workers

    In this focal theme, the effects of digitalisation on the economy, on society, on the welfare state, on jobs and business locations, professions, expertise and careers, and on individuals are being examined. Learn more here.

    Resilient and innovative organisation

    This focus theme revolves around leadership and management approaches to handling organisational changes associated with digital transformation. Learn more here.

    Predictive and use-centred technology

    This focal theme revolves around the driving forces of technological change including sensor technology, robotics, automation, artificial intelligence and servitisation. Aspects of economic efficiency, management and HRM, and artistic and social perspectives also play an important role. Learn more here.

    Digitalised and personalised education

    This focal theme is centred on interdisciplinary projects that investigate the effects and the potential of data and digitalisation within the educational sector and develop solutions for personalised forms of education. Learn more here.

    Data-based and human-centred health

    This focal theme revolves around interdisciplinary projects that investigate the effects and the potential of data and digitalisation within the health sector and develop future-proof, human-centred and personalised solutions. Learn more here.

    Core team

    The IC’s core team comprises representatives of the HSLU’s six Schools. They provide guidance and support for the IC’s thematic development and its internal networking efforts.

    Advisory Board

    The IC’s Advisory Board comprises external specialists representing different perspectives on digital transformation. Their task is to critically appraise the IC’s thematic development and to help it to cultivate its external networks.

    • Prof. Dr. Christoph Igel, Member of the Board of the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics FKIE
    • Edith Lang, Head of the Office of Social Services, Canton of Lucerne
    • Irmgard Nübler, Senior Economist at Interrnational Labour Organization Research Department
    • Barbara Rüttimann, President, Netzwerk Unternehmen Verantwortung
    • Prof. Dr. Lothar Thiele, ETH Zürich, Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Institute Computer Engineering and Networks Laboratory


    Dr. Rolf Kamps
    Co-Head «Digital Transformation of the Working World»
    +41 41 349 37 38
    Prof. Simone Gretler Heusser
    Co-Head «Digital Transformation of the Working World»
    +41 41 367 48 73