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SHAPE – Shaping Digital Citizenship is a research centre which aims to promote democracy and active citizenship in a world which is characterised by data and algorithms. The goal is to generate knowledge at a high international level as well contributing to public debate, business community and civil society.

SHAPE is a knowledge-seeking, open centre at which a cross-disciplinary approach is regarded as a necessity; and where collaboration with politicians, decision-makers, organisations and other stakeholders is given high priority.

SHAPE is based on a long Scandinavian tradition of cross-disciplinary, inclusive research into democracy and information technology, which has occupied a strong position at Aarhus University since the 1980s. This approach has given SHAPE a strong foundation for the creation of new insights, concepts, methods and forms of collaboration that can contribute to the use of data and algorithms to promote democracy and active citizenship.

SHAPE’s ambitions
SHAPE aims to create knowledge and solutions in a close exchange with the rest of society. It will base these solutions on a debate about who and what we want to be as a society; how we want to work, study, express ourselves and interact; and what kind of solutions and technologies we need to support these endeavours. SHAPE wishes to contribute to the development of the digital democratic society of the future: locally, nationally and internationally.

Cross-disciplinary research
The centre will create the framework for strong, frequently cross-disciplinary research projects that include society and are capable of examining, assessing and adopting a critical and ethical stance on the direct and indirect human consequences of technological development and increased digitalisation – with particular focus on questions relating to co-determination and democratic literacy. The centre also wishes to develop and test solutions from a technological, organisational and cultural perspective if these solutions have the potential to shape the digital society of the future.