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Prof. Igor Mayer

Breda University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands

About the speaker:

Dr. Igor Mayer is a professor of Serious Games, Innovation & Society at Breda University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands. Since January 2021, he is also an endowed professor of "Playful Organizations and Learning Systems" at Tilburg University. In 2019, he was awarded a scholarship by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. He is a Co-founder and has been a board member of SAGANET–the Netherlands’ Simulation and Gaming Association–as well as GaLA, the European Network of Excellence in Serious Games His main research and professional interests are the development, use, and evaluation of gaming simulation, serious games, and more recently also virtual, mixed, and augmented reality for policy analysis, organization, and management. Over the years and in various partnerships, he has initiated, managed, and participated in a large number of serious gaming-related research and development projects. He has been a partner in several European projects, part of FP7, H2020, Eranet, Interreg, and Erasmus+ funding programmes.

Prof. Mayer’s webpage: https://pure.buas.nl/en/persons/igor-mayer

About keynote speech:
Digital Twins for the Real World - A Social-Technical Perspective on Digital Twins for the Ocean with illustrations from the ILIAD DTO initiative.

Keynote abstract - The problems we have created for the world and thus for ourselves, have become so big that we are putting our hopes on Intelligent Machines to solve them. Intelligent machines that can help us make public decisions. That can even make the decisions for us. Digital Twins (DT) are the most recent and the hottest proposal of an intelligent machine for public decision-making. Some call it a Digital Twin Revolution. But, as we know, revolutions can easily backfire. DT are becoming highly intelligent and data-driven, real time super models. But we largely leave it to the systems engineers to define and develop them. For some, a DT is ‘our smart way out’. A Control Room for planet Earth. But if a DT is ‘like’ a control room, there are a few tricky questions: Who is building, staffing, and operating that control room? What do they control, and on behalf of whom? Are they/we really in control? A social-science perspective on DT is needed but lacking. In my address I will use a few concepts from political and organizational sciences, to frame several competing understandings of a DT for the Ocean: what they are, and what they are for? One important frame, in my view, is that of ‘social learning and games’. It emphasizes game-design, game technology and playful interactions with DTs. I will illustrate this with the MSP challenge simulation platform and Virtual Ocean applications in the ILIAD Digital Twin of the Ocean Initiative.

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