"My priorities are digital skills, diversity in our digital society and an open internet", said Gesche Joost, German Digital Champion.
She is a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts specialising in design research. Since 2008, she has been Head of the Design Research Lab focusing her research on human-computer interaction, aspects of gender and diversity in communications technology as well as social design. In 2005, she joined Telekom Innovation Laboratories working on advances in ICT R&D.
"In Germany, there are many initiatives to promote maths, informatics, natural science and technology skills, especially for girls during Girls Days. But still, many do not have the right skills when it comes to working and living in a digital society," explained Professor Joost.
She believes there is a need to update the curricula within schools and universities to unleash the potential of our digital society.
Professor Joost runs several research projects where inclusive design gives access to digital media for e.g. people with dementia, deaf or blind people, or stroke patients (www.drlab.org).
"Including people with special needs in the development of new technologies is not only a question of fairness, but it is a great source of innovation for the digital age. We learn for example from deaf people how to communicate with gestures. They are experts in their modes of communication and we can transfer this knowledge to other domains of application in the ICT world. For a common digital agenda we have to include the diversity of skills and abilities of people in order to achieve an inclusive and accessible digital society."