Igor Mayer’s inaugural address: digital twins, virtual worlds and serious games

Digital technology enables us to create real-world virtual copies – digital twins – of people, spaces, ecosystems, societies and organisations. Although originating in games, digital twins are all around us in the meantime. To what degree does this technology contribute to societal transformation required to solve problems in the world? Do digital twins bring us the knowledge and understanding to take a more empathetic view of the world around us? Or do we drift further apart from physical reality as a result? Igor Mayer (Organisation Studies) is going to address these questions in his lecture delivered on 17 June at Tilburg University.

Breda, 14 June 2022

Igor Mayer: “Digital twinning technology is already being developed and used to a high degree. It is everywhere. Although this technology originates in gaming, it is also considered a potential key to bringing about the necessary societal transformation in all areas. Therefore, it is important to conduct research into how we can use this technology responsibly and usefully. For example, either embedded in existing organisations, or as part of new institutions. What do we use digital twins for? Who are at the controls? What are the underlying societal values to either use this technology or not? To find answers, we should have a look at game technology and game design, and to ethics, organisation & policy studies and political science.”

The research Igor Mayer conducts aims at designing, applying and studying game technology, game design, and game concepts to enable organisations and complex systems to learn. The establishing body is Breda  University of Applied Sciences (BUas), where Igor Mayer currently is professor in Serious Games, Innovation & Society. In his work, he connects different worlds of game research and game education at university and university of applied sciences. 


About Igor Mayer

Igor Mayer (1965, Detmold, Germany) studied Policy & Organisation Sciences at Radboud University Nijmegen (1984-1991). After his military service he worked (combined with positions at TNO and IVA Policy Research and Advice) on his PhD research in the Department of Policy & Organisation Studies (1992-1998) of the then Katholieke Universiteit Brabant. Between 1998 and 2015 he was an associate professor at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at TU Delft, where he founded and led the Policy Gaming research group. 

Mayer was previously a visiting professor at the School of Management and Economics of Beijing Institute of Technology (China, 2015-2016), and since 2017 he has been a visiting professor at Dalian University of Technology (DUT, China). Mayer has initiated and carried many serious gaming projects for clients, such as the Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management, and Rijkswaterstaat. He has over 150 publications to his credit and has been (co-) promotor of six completed PhDs.