23 October 2020


The Digital Society

Research themes visualized

ECP digitalization in society themes visualized booklet cover

About the project

ECP (Electronic Commerce Platform) is an independent platform bringing together businesses, government, science, education, and civil society, to stimulate the integration of digital technology in the Netherlands. They asked me to help them visualize the most important 'digitalization themes' of the last two years, to be published as part of their 2020 biannual retrospective.

The client wasn't sure yet which form the visualisation should take (A short comic? Spot illustrations? Character profiles?), so we had a brainstorm to explore our options. After two sessions we decided on large illustration spreads that would make the chapters come alive by capturing both the intended mood and key considerations of each theme. They would feature a main character and her family, dealing with different aspects of the digital society in 2020.

ECP visualisation brainstorm
Brainstorming to determine mood, form and content.
ECP visualisation concepts
Proposed concept thumbnails with short descriptions.
ECP visualisation layout
Testing different layouts with the text.
ECP visualisation sketch
Sketch phase.
ECP visualisation values
Proposed contrast in black & white values.

Introduction & context

The "new normal" during the Covid-19 pandemic meant work, school, leisure, and most socializing all moved online. Although the technological infrastructure for this was already in place, it still accellerated the development of many digital processes and is raising important questions about how we should adjust as a society.

ECP digitalization in society visualisations context
The Covid-19 pandemic has moved our everyday lives online.

Online safety

As we become more dependent on technology for our everyday functioning, we also become more vulnerable to cybercriminality. Unsurprisingly, phishing and DDoS attacks increased during the pandemic. How do we increase resilience in our systems and behaviors? And what role should privacy have in these considerations?

ECP digitalization in society visualisations online safety
Online safety is complex, quickly changing, and fundamentally different from safety in the physical world.

Digital skills

Getting by in life or at work increasingly requires digital skills, which quickly and continually evolve. How do we make sure no one is left behind? And conversely: how can businesses stay ahead of the technological curve in order to keep their edge?

ECP digitalization in society visualisations digital skills
A fully digital work environment requires new skills. Some will pick it up faster than others.

Ethics of technology

As digital technology gets more intertwined with society, the ethics of this interaction comes into focus. Our relationship with technology is something that needs to be reflected on and discussed as we move forward. This is why ECP proposes a "guiding ethics of technology" which aims to help society find its own answers by stimulating dialogue.

ECP digitalization in society visualisations ethics
Which uses of technology will we feel comfortable with? And how can we stimulate constructive dialogue about this now?


This was basically a dream assignment. The subject was close to my heart, there was room to find the best format for these visualisations to tell a story, I was given freedom stylistically, and, most importantly: I got to work together with a great team of driven, enthousiastic and knowledgeable people who trusted in me and the process from the beginning. Thank you, ECP!

ECP jaarfestival boekje 2020 digital society book cover

For more information on ECP visit ECP.nl, or have a look at the biannual festival that this publication was a part of.