COVID-19 and the role of information processing

Sander van der Leeuw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The various crises that have emerged since 2000 are driven by an increasing maladaptation of our societies’ information processing capabilities to the dynamics in which our societies find themselves. These capabilities have been built up path dependently over centuries, and to understand them we need to look closely at their history. Changes in technology, demography and resource use and environmental change are all part of a co-evolution in which societies’ information processing capacities play a central role. The information and communications technology revolution has accelerated developments in all of these domains and has weakened some fundamental institutions. This paper discusses how these processes might affect the long-term future of our societies. Social media summary How will what we learn from COVID-19 about our society’s information processing affect our future?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere27
JournalGlobal Sustainability
StatePublished - 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Future developments
  • Information processing
  • Sustainability
  • Weakening societal systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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