Towards a comprehensive model of the Digital Economy

I’ve been working lately analyzing 47 models that describe — explicitly or implicitly — the Information Society. Some of them speak of access as the existence of infrastructures; other cannot conceive any effective access without capacity (i.e. digital skills); some others do have quite a broad understanding of what access is and include many nondigital/analogue variables to explain their model.

On one hand, all models (or almost) have their reasons: depending on what are your objectives, you are measuring a different thing and/or think of different conceptions of the Information Society — and the digital divide.

On the other hand, the problem is that this is just like speaking in different tongues, a Babel Tower, where quite often people, institutions, projects, indicators and indices, etc. do tell different and incomparable things.

Almost two years ago I draw what I then considered a framework that could gather up all kind of approaches:

5 step approach to the Information Society Development

I’ve now drawn the following one:


If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2008) “Towards a comprehensive model of the Digital Economy” In ICTlogy, #59, August 2008. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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5 Comments to “Towards a comprehensive model of the Digital Economy” »

  1. I think the second diagram needs your explanation, as it doesn’t look self-explanatory to me, especially the demand-supply-flows-assets sides.

  2. Benvolgut Ismael,

    crec que el quadre primer, certament, és massa simple avui en dia i, sobretot, diria que sobredimensiona el marc legal. Però probablement és més entenedor que el segon.

    Del segon, comparteixo molt el paper central de la formació en competències digitals. També et diria que la “disponibilitat” potser no és una categoria de la mateixa naturalesa que els altres que proposes.

    Igual que Paolo, penso que l’esquema necessita la teva explicació. M’ha donat la impressió que la simetria formal s’imposa una miqueta a l’estructura conceptual que planteges: hi ha moltes coses que no em lliguen (segurament perquè no les entenc prou).

    De totes maneres, l’esforç de síntesi em sembla magnífic. Moltes gràcies per l’aportació.

    I, naturalment, n’esperem amb interès el desplegament!

    Molt cordialment,


  3. According to that new and detailed framework, Digital Literacy Training seems to play a central role, being the most connected factor and somehow the previous condition for some others (like affordability of infrastructures or use of contents/services). But why “Training” and not “Learning” (something that would include self-learning)?

    It’s great that you still find time there and there for sharing this kind of things :)

  4. Training vs. learning… that’s a good point that without any doubt will be including in my next version. Thank you so much, Enric.

    And yep, I’ll be finding some time… soon? ;)

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