A BRIE-Etla Reseach Initiative Minitrack at HICSS 2023

Shaping the Future in the Era of Intelligent Tools minitrack has been accepted to the Collaboration Systems and Technologies track at the 56th Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences. Call of papers forthcoming in March, 2022.


Collaboration Systems and Technologies


The progress of digitalization has enabled individuals and organizations to leverage more and more ‘intelligent tools’: computation-based programmatic methods which assist and enhance learning, adapting, autonomous behaviour, and human-machine interaction. While software has dominated the digital world for decades, during the last years, a new wave of intelligent tools based on e.g. data products, mixed reality, cryptography, and quantum computing has started to emerge. As a result, disruptive transformations are being witnessed in markets, business models, jobs, and social conventions. For understanding these emerging disruptions, a multi-dimensional interdisciplinary examination of technologies, businesses and organizational practices is required from micro to macro level to uncover their complex underlying socio-economic mechanisms.

Throughout its long legacy of over two decades of successful research, the BRIE-ETLA research initiative has always explored new frontiers of digitalization and provided fresh insights on how they shape business dynamics and societal outcomes. By engaging in the ongoing technology trajectories and their implications at close proximity, the initiative focuses on sparking evidence-based debate on how to best navigate businesses and countries forward in periods of extreme technology-induced turbulence.

The aim of this minitrack is to expand our knowledge on the real-world implementations and socio-economic implications of intelligent tools. In particular, the key focus will be on: 1) the role of intelligent tools in supporting the diffusion and utilization of digital innovations; 2) the impacts of intelligent tools on the roles and the functions of workers, organizations, markets, and governance.

The papers submitted to this call should align with at least one of the following areas of interest:

  • The role of intelligent tools in supporting the diffusion and utilization of digital innovations
    1. Applications where automation and autonomy of products or services has increased or decreased after the implementation of new digital technologies.
    2. Applications where automation and autonomy of manufacturing units and processes (g. predictive maintenance) has increased or decreased after the implementation of new digital technologies
    3. Applications where intelligent tools have enabled more sustainable closed-loop systems in manufacturing, product lifecycle management, and digital services
    4. Cyber-physical systems, in which intelligent tools are seamlessly embedded with physical resources in end-user products and services
  • The foreseeable impacts of new intelligent tools on the roles and the functions of workers, processes, organizations, and markets
    1. The impacts of data sharing, data portability, data products, and data markets
    2. The impacts of distributed resourcing, new co-opetition systems and integrated digital infrastructures (g., systems of systems)
    3. The impacts of physics engines (g., Omniverse), serious games, and mixed reality
    4. The impacts of cyber-security and quantum computing, and the role of digital cognition (g., deep fakes)
    5. The role and the impact of policy responses to the use of intelligent tools (g., contractual practices, standardization, legislation, and ethics)


intelligent tools; human-machine interaction; digital innovation; machine autonomy


Fast track opportunities

There are no fast track opportunities for this proposal.


Marketing plan

The minitrack call for papers will be widely broadcasted through the channels and research networks of the BRIE-ETLA initiative participants. Between its founding members—the University of California at Berkeley and ETLA Economic Research in Finland, as well other collaborating partners, including Aalto University, the Chengdu University of Electronic Science and Technology in China, and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center in Germany, a broad audience of scholars can be reached in various countries in North American, European, and Asian research communities. The call will also be actively marketed in Twitter and other social media to reach academics globally.

Chair and co-chairs

Timo Seppälä, D.Sc.(Tech.), is a Professor of Practice in Digital Operations at Aalto University, and a chief research scientist at ETLA. He earned his PhD in industrial economics and management from Aalto University. Among other things, Seppälä’s scholarly work has touched upon global supply chains and platforms. He has published in many esteemed journals e.g. the Journal of Operations Management and California Management Review. Seppälä also has strong business background in companies such as Oracle, Elcoteq, Nomovok and lately Koja.

Timo Seppälä (chair, primary contact)
ETLA Economic Research / Aalto University


Juri Mattila, D.Sc.(Tech.), is a Researcher of the Digital Economy at ETLA Economic Research. In his work, Mattila has focused on examining various digital disruptions and their economic implications, such as digital multi-sided platforms, blockchain systems, cybersecurity, machine learning, metaverse, and mixed reality. Mattila has authored in many esteemed academic journals, e.g. California Management Review and Computers in Industry. He also has a business background in the financial industry through various board positions.

Juri Mattila (co-chair)
ETLA Economic Research


Kimmo Karhu, D.Sc.(Tech.), is an Assistant Professor in Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University. His research focus is on digitalization, platform economy, and mathematical modeling of related market dynamics. His cross-disciplinary work covers both information systems and strategic management reserch fields and has been published in top-tier journals such as Information Systems Research, Long Range Planning, MIS Quarterly Executive, and Telematics and Informatics.

Kimmo Karhu (co-chair)
Aalto University


John Zysman is a Professor Emeritus of Political Science and the Director of BRIE at the University of California at Berkeley. He has written extensively on American, European, and Japanese policy and corporate strategy. Zysman’s extensive scholarly output includes globally highly influential Manufacturing Matters: The Myth of the Post-Industrial Economy.

John Zysman (co-chair)
University of California at Berkeley


HICSS 2023 track and minitrack descriptions