Call for Papers: Covid-19 and the ambient transformation

Special Issue full title: Covid-19 and the ambient transformation: re-reading ‘resilience’ in times of rupture, adaptation, and disruption (business, economy, governance, and society).

Submission deadline: End of May 2021

Guest Editors:
Professor Anna Visvizi, SGH Warsaw School of Economics
Professor Miltiadis D. Lytras, King Abdulaziz University


The Covid-19 pandemic has brought about uncertainty and unpredictability in society. This perception is impacting on the business sector, the economy, and society in general, as well as governance, broadly understood, including government itself. Like toppling a line of dominos, lockdown has gradually shut down entire parts of the global economy, disrupting businesses, and economies and political and social processes and practices at all levels across every domain. 

To address this global rupture effectively and to embrace adaptation, in these circumstances we need to employ sophisticated ICT-enhanced tools, applications, and services. Nevertheless, the gravity of the subsequent lockdown and social distancing measures suggest that no “simple” use of smart technologies, including artificial intelligence, computing systems, and sensor networks, is likely to be sufficient. 

There are multi-scalar challenges to ensuring the resilience of business, the economy, governance, and society: to mention just some, there is potentially a new digital divide, with implications for companies, economies, and society. These challenges include the loss of competitive advantage, with consequent loss of market share, competitiveness, inclusion/exclusion, and poverty, and new sources of social pressure. 

From another angle, the same issues prompt questions about the strategic management of innovation policies nationally, regionally, and globally. Due to the pace of today’s urbanization, cities and smart cities are part of this conversation. The changes listed above encourage a re-examination of the strategic management of technology’s development, diffusion, application, and possible new modes of innovation-sharing between and among stakeholders in both the Global South and Global North. 


Under threat of a global pandemic to individuals and society – currently Covid-19 – the nature of work, as well as the imperative of protecting people’s health, lies at the heart of the emerging debate on using sophisticated ICT to mitigate the negative implications to ensure the sustainability of business, the economy, governance, and society. In these times of unbearable uncertainty and risk, the nub of the issue is how to utilise advanced ICT-enhanced tools and methods to facilitate human interaction and community-building, to build and share knowledge and skills, to improve the quality of work, and to employ under-explored potential to boost the resilience of all four. This special issue is dedicated to this broad topic. 


In view of the threat and the scale of the implications of the current or a future global pandemic, this special issue aims to examine how the effective, human-centred adoption of sophisticated technology can attain a two-pronged goal: (i) to make businesses, economies, governance, and society more resilient; and (ii) at the time, to facilitate human interaction and community-building. In-depth reflection on the measures and mechanisms conducive to these two goals will foster new modes of knowledge-building and knowledge and skills sharing.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us the pressing need to rethink these issues and reflect on improving the nature of our work and enhancing our quality of life, making it safer. It has highlighted the requirement for a meta-perspective consistent with making the entire system more flexible, efficient, sustainable, and resilient. Its main thrust is the imperative to reframe strategically the digital orientation of key stakeholders, both private and public, and (smart) cities, (smart) communities, and (smart) villages. This encompasses development strategies, business models, knowledge management strategies, operations and processes, and information management, developing a culture of continuous improvement and (open) innovation. 


The editors of this special issue are interested in articles on the following topics (but are not limited to these): 

  • Covid-19 and the business environment:
    • The pandemic’s impact on large, small, and medium-sized enterprises, such as local companies, and diverse facets of contingency planning: including the criticalities, challenges, and opportunities of technology adoption and the smart redefinition of business environments, spaces, and systems.
    • Big-data and AI-enhanced tools and approaches for data-driven decision-making, across issues and domains.
  • Covid-19 and the global market: the digital divide, the first-mover advantage, resilience, and competition:
    • The Global South/Global North: the pandemic’s impact on both developing and developed countries in terms of sophisticated technology’s development, diffusion, and adoption, in view of the creation of smart environments.
    • The digital divide: the pandemic’s effect on both technologically advanced and disadvantaged countries: including critical issues relating to the adoption of ambient intelligence and humanized computing to develop intelligent environments, spaces, and systems.
  • Covid-19, technology adoption, and the development of resilient organizations in smart cities:
    • Smart technologies and pervasive/ubiquitous computing and applications: redefining smart cities’ interaction modalities.
    • Smart technologies and information management strategies: addressing the pandemic’s social, economic, and political challenge in the smart city.
    • Smart technologies and pervasive/ubiquitous computing and applications: continuously adapting these to the complex city environment to build resilience and deal with crises.
  • Covid-19, technology, and new product development as a means of responding to the crisis and possibly turning it into an opportunity:
    • Data collection through pervasive/ubiquitous computing and applications: including AI-enhanced techniques, context awareness, and wearable sensors for new product and innovation development.
    • Context awareness, social sensing, and inference: collecting data from users/citizens for both product and social innovation.
  • Covid-19, digital space, social distancing, and social communication in the smart-city and smart-village context:
    • Redefining social space and the city environment through wearable sensors and actuators, context awareness, and cognitive wireless sensor networks: the challenges and opportunities for crisis resolution.
    • Intelligent and self-organizing transportation networks and services: how the pandemic is redefining the environment in both city and village.
    • Context awareness, social sensing, and inference: redefining information-sharing and dissemination to collect data from the lives of users/citizens for pandemic resolution.
    • Cognitive wireless sensor networks, advanced networking architectures, and embedded smart agents: the effect of ambient intelligence on distributed and collaborative decision-making and on the effectiveness and rapidity of decisions to challenge the crisis.
    • The impact of ambient intelligence and humanized computing tools (transportation, sensors, wireless networks) and smart working on policy-making’s effectiveness and the improvement in well-being and resilience in companies, cities, and villages.

All proposed papers should be submitted via Editorial Manager at

Author guidelines are available at

Professor Anna Visvizi,
Professor Miltiadis D. Lytras,