SIGCIS 2012 Workshop, Parallel Session III: Three ICT Innovations that transformed the Danish Society – The Nordic Way

Three ICT Innovations that transformed the Danish Society – The Nordic Way

The History of Nordic Computing 4 Conference, HiNC4, August 13-15, 2014, at the IT University of Copenhagen (HiNC4) conference has the overall theme ‘The Nordic Way’. It will focus on: The innovative ICT Milestones that transformed the Nordic Societies, and on the new ideas, systems and solutions that created the welfare societies of today. But a welfare state is more than Government – it is also a state with a modern, effective infrastructure whether it comes to financial systems, transportation, telecommunications, as well as easy access to a wide range of consumer goods.  Not all ICT solutions have been successful and the conference shall throw light on possible reasons for this and lessons to be drawn.

The idea behind the ‘practitioner session’ is, through three rather short talks to focus on three areas, where this ‘Nordic Way’ has been prominent in Denmark. The talks is followed by a panel discussion where a wider set of historical aspects behind the three cases as well as other ICT Innovations can be presented and discussed. This session will hopefully attract so much attention at the SIGCIS workshop, that it will provide a solid basis for possible paper submissions to and participation in HiNC4.

The ‘practitioner session’ (total 90 minutes) has the following outline:
Three short presentations:

Each presentation is scheduled to take 15 minutes.
Panel discussion (40 minutes):

  • Chair: Magnus Kolsjö, PwC (the former PricewaterhouseCoopers), Stockholm.
  • Commentator: Christian Gram
  • The Presenters: Henning Jensen, Søren Duus Østergaard, and Stig Kjær Andersen.
  • Selected participants from the SHOT12 conference.

Organisers: Christian Gram and Jørgen Albretsen.

Brief abstract of the three papers and their relevance for the SIGCIS workshop.

Technology is often a visible testimony of a society’s development and advances. This session focuses on three cases as seen from the ‘practitioners’ point of view, the people who were an integral part of laying the foundations for our present day Danish – and indeed Nordic – welfare society. People who either were or still are part of the development.

Henning Jensen (“Dankort – a national debit card system established in Denmark in the early 1980s.”) was a key person in the Dankort project. This debit card made it possible to provide the normal Danish citizen with a secure, one card solution for shopping and payment. The paper shows that this was not done without a political element of passing relevant laws and putting pressure on the financial sector – and on the consumer. In a sense a typical Nordic solution, where the government is taking the role of the ‘practitioner’ and telling what is good for the technological development of the welfare state.

Søren Duus Østergaard (“The Danish Tax system and the ‘No Touch’ strategy”) has researched this field of The Danish tax System and the ‘No Touch’ strategy as a case of e-government. The system has no doubt made it easier to pay your taxes – and though the tax rates can certainly be discussed, it is no longer the technology that causes all the trouble, as was the case to begin with. The ‘practitioner’ approach here is to use the new technology available (‘the Internet’) to enable a better line of communication between the citizen and the tax authority, and to make a serious effort to have technology help the citizen feel confident, that ‘the welfare state’ only collects a fair tax based on the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) principle.

Stig Kjær Andersen (“The Danish Electronic Health Record (EHR) – from visions to reality – a nearly two decades long journey under changing conditions.”) has been head of research projects, and is still heavily involved in the efforts to make the Electronic Health Record a true breakthrough – also from the view of a ‘practitioner’. His key point in the proposed paper is to show that this effort is in some respects still ‘work in progress’ and an area, where much is to be learned. The the doctors and nurses – and even the patients – were brought in and heard, but often at the wrong places in the development, and maybe under wrong pretexts.

Contact information:

Jørgen Albretsen
Computer Scientist
Department of Communication and Psychology
Aalborg University
Kroghstraede 3
Room: 4-117
DK-9220 Aalborg

Phone: +45 99 40 91 24

Christian Gram
Bondehavevej 135
DK-2880 Bagsværd

Phone: +45 44 49 00 83