The term “Digital Agenda” is used to describe all the measures required or planned for a systematic approach to shaping the digital transformation of a particular system.

The term “digital agenda” is used in public discourse, particularly with regard to the announced political action of the legislative and executive bodies to shape digital change.

In addition, all the measures planned by individual companies, institutions and organisations as part of their efforts to achieve digitalisation and digital transformation are also referred to as the “digital agenda”.

Ethymology: The term “digital agenda” is a neologism that has emerged as a linguistic recreation by combining two common words into a new fixed term whose meaning is directly derived from the original words.

The word “agenda” is of Latin origin and has there as a noun “agenda” the meaning of “something to do” “what has to be done” or “what has to be done”. The Latin noun “agenda” is derived from the verb “agere”, which means “to act”. Broad agreement in the use of the term “digital agenda” is that the adjective “digital” refers to the subject to which the “agenda” refers. It is therefore an agenda dedicated to the design of the digital, not a digitally created agenda. The adjective “digital” refers to the developments that have been set in motion by the spread of digital technologies. The various aspects of these comprehensive developments are linguistically captured by the terms digital change, digitalization, digital transformation, digital progress, digital revolution and digital disruption. Since the word “agenda” refers to a comprehensive canon of measures, the definition refers in particular to those aspects of digital change that have the transformation of an entire system in mind and are thus to be regarded as digital transformation. The term “Digital Agenda” has not only found its way into the English language. In other languages there are directly related words: in German “Digitale Agenda”, in French “L’agenda numérique”, in Italian “Un’agenda digitale” and in Spanish “Una Agenda Digital”.
Distinction from other terms: The term “Digital Agenda” differs from the common terms used to characterize the changes caused by the spread of digital technologies in particular by emphasizing the aspect of active design. An agenda, as a summary of future action in a catalogue of well specified measures, requires analysis, planning and decision-making. This is where the term “digital agenda” differs from that of “digital change”, which looks at the phenomenon of change without taking the element of deliberate action into account. Although “digitization” and “digital transformation” are regularly based on a multitude of deliberate actions, many aspects of digitization manifest themselves without intentful action.

Implementation: The “Digital Agenda” is at the end of a long process of strategy development. First, an analysis of the initial conditions, the impending changes and the desired outcome must be carried out, which can be performed on the basis of a conceptual framework like the “Digital Era Framework”, for example. The next step is to find out how the changes that are about to occur in the course Digital Transformation can be shaped. Finally, the catalog of the measures to be implemented must be defined.

How to Cite

The definition given above was proposed as part of the Digital Era Framework by Dr. Dr. Jörn Lengsfeld. The text was first published in: Jörn Lengsfeld: Digital Era Framework. Please refer to the original publication if you want to cite the text.