The new ”gold” and phronetic innovation – balancing instrumental and value-based rationality

In a world where information (data) is the new ”gold”, the importance of being aware of, and actively work on how data is handled from an ethical and value-based perspective, cannot be emphasized enough. This project will highlight and make ethical, value-based and phronetic perspectives visible in relation to the ”new gold”.


”Where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?” – T. S. Eliot Choruses from The Rock (1934)

T.S Eliot shows in this text how wisdom can be lost in knowledge and that knowledge get lost in information. It is important that discussions, forums and processes actively include humane aspects, such as ethics, moral and wisdom, in a time where information (data/”the new gold”) takes center stage and a lot of resources are dedicated towards collecting, managing, manipulating and distributing information. This project aims to re-humanize the increasingly digitalized world where a lot of resources and attention are on the technical aspects of AI, Big data and digitalization in general.

The purpose of the project is to do an empirical study to better understand the present situation at the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) regarding ethical forums, discussions, practices and knowledge in relation to “the new gold”. The preliminary study includes a comprehensive literature study based on concepts such as value-based rationality, phronesis and ethics.

About the project

Project period:

  • March 1, 2020, to October 31, 2020


  • The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket)

Project leader:


  • ISDD