Towards the new normal:

finding a balance in the hybrid society

While it is widely acknowledged that the covid-19 crisis has changed our society fundamentally, we cannot yet see all of its consequences or exactly what the future will look like. Yet there are some things we can be sure of: one is the sudden rise in the availability of online services.

The requirements of social distancing have resulted in a dramatic rise in the use of digital services and demand for data. And there’s no turning back: the ease of digital ways of working, the increased accessibility of digital services, and new phenomena such as ‘Zoomweddings/-birthdays/-drinks’ are here to stay. The seamless blending of your physical world and your digital world – your digital twin, you may say – is the new hybrid society of tomorrow.

The challenge for governments and citizens will be to find the right balance between the physical and the digital. And for that to happen, public services will need to be better, faster, cheaper…and different. This paper explores both the challenges and the opportunities for governments and citizens in the new hybrid society, and how digital technologies and data make different kinds of public services possible.

Towards the new normal: finding a balance in the hybrid society

What has become clear over the course of 2020 is that in everyday life, there is now less need for people’s physical presence.

Before the covid-19 crisis, it was common for citizens to physically appear at local council offices for administrative reasons. Now, we are seeing a dramatic rise in the use of chatbots and algorithms to increase access to public services 24/7 for common queries.

“The seamless blending of your physical world and your digital world – your digital twin, you may say – is the new hybrid society of tomorrow”.

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Data Driven Government Preparing for the age of the citizen

Governments can and must use the power of Big Data to be more citizen-focussed, to design cost-effective and responsive services, reinvent their business models and prepare for the challenges of a digitally transformed society.

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Kay Hooghoudt

Global Government Advisor on “e-State 2020” & Education

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