Technology and Leadership: blending technology with humanity, the importance of balance in the digital era

Spring 2020, humanity’s twilight moment: leading in the change

Special Issue June 2020
Basic Leadership Skills course – Traveling together in oneness

  • 1 leadership journey:  semester Spring 2020
  • 3 communities: Butterfly – Eagle – Snake
  • 1 title: Spring 2020, humanity’s twilight moment: leading in the change
  • 3 articles:
    #Spirituality & Leadership: the conscious attitude of leaders
    #Business & Leadership: approaching an emerging future of business
    #Technology & Leadership: blending technology with humanity, the importance of balance in the digital era

Technology and Leadership
Blending technology with humanity: the importance of balance in the digital era

Student-Authors of the course Basic Leadership Skills – Spring 2020
Community ”Snake”

Antoniazzi Elisa (Germany), Jenzer Marina (Switzerland), Kariuki Faith (Kenya), Kempa Jakub (Poland), Lainas Juuso (Finland), Maire Romain (France),  Nikiforova Alina (Russia), Ruppert Yada (Finland), Thepaut Ghislain (France), Wüthrich Seline (Switzerland),  Zoccoli Marcella (JAMK University of Applied Sciences)

Student Editor-in-chief Spring 2020: Yada Ruppert

“For me, it matters that we drive technology as an equalizing force, as an enabler for everyone around the world.”
– Sundar Pichai, CEO Google, and Alphabet

Rapid evolution in technology has been recognized as part of the way of life and it is even anticipated more than it is shunned. In light of this, a look into aspects of how to engage the technology-savvy generations through leadership is paramount. What more meaningful way to explore the subject than to hear from the firsthand experiences.


Technology is and has been integrated into society over the last three decades or so. However, blending tech and humanity has not been without friction. Nevertheless, the benefits and presence of technology cannot be ignored. From satellite that measures emissions and observes weather patterns, to aiding in critical medical functions and individual step counting for wellness, and much more. We as a community have witnessed the development of technology especially in our route as Basic Leadership skills course’s students.

According to Owen & Polly (2004) teaching has changed from teacher-centered to learner-centered due to the technology and the information that is in reach for everyone. Next-generation of students also expects the usage of technology in their studies. Schools and teachers have adapted to this throughout the years and changed their teaching and leadership styles.

Upcoming generations will grow up in a world where technology is an integral part. Thereby, blended learning, which is a combination of most frequently eLearning and traditional face-to-face learning, can help to establish creative ways of delivering information. It can be considered a powerful strategy, as it addresses more learning style requirements, targets a wider audience, and achieves increased performance or learning results (Atef & Medhat, 2015).

In other terms, instructors who adopt a variety of these teaching styles, offer their learners a respectively rewarding and successful learning experience. Moreover, blended learning should combine the learning environment, media, and instructional component. The environment component can be synchronous or asynchronous, with each having a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages. The media is simply the vehicle through which the content is delivered, and the instructional component revolves around the most appropriate strategies (Holden & Westfall, 2006).

By keeping connected, as pointed out by Zoccoli (2019) we can create a ‘’network value-knowledge and the creation-learning environment in which the relation human-to-human and human-to-technology take place, can facilitate the reception, understanding, and use of the digital learning experiences. It creates experiential moments in the educational journey, in which connectivism is perceived and experienced as an emergent solution to innovative learning strategies’’  that lead students to the creation of new forms of self-leadership, self-discipline, and self-care (Losleben, 2020).

Technology in leading human [business] relation

Daugherty (2015) suggests that today we live in a time when technology collaborates with humans to make the workforce more productive. It is important that a company leverages the unique capabilities of human talent and technology in a way that adds value to the organization. Technology allows staff to collect and share data more quickly and collaborate more effectively, which in turn enhances productivity (2015). During the current difficult times we are experiencing, technology has stepped in both for companies and humans. Many employees can work from the comfort of their homes and can liaise with their supervisors and colleagues on platforms like Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Teams, etc. Some years ago, this was unimaginable and today we take it for granted and sometimes forget what possibilities technology gives us.

According to Maeda & Bermont (2011) technology provides a tool for us to communicate efficiently, we can reach hundreds of people in seconds, but it is still hard to deliver the point of the message. The content of the message becomes crucial since the emotional context is missing. Leaders must clarify their message to get to the point across, a great way of doing this is to support it with some examples. (27-32.)

When Hurricane Katrina hit the US in 2005 the emergency authorities faced large criticism for their actions. The authorities didn’t have a way to get a message out to the public and their reputation suffered. After the criticism, they hired a social media manager who oversaw the messaging online and in the end, the technology helped the situation. (Li 2010, 9-12.) This is a great example of how technology can help leaders.

Technology is a big part of our daily life and humanity keeps us grounded. Our community has experienced different situations with technology and humanity during their work, school and social life. Our experience shows the difference between different eras as well as different cultures.

As I sit by my window overlooking the Jyväsjärvi lake [here in Central Finalnd] on a beautiful warm Spring 2020 afternoon, it is rather oddly deserted. I nevertheless carry on with editing, though definitely bothered by the silence that surrounds. The world over is going through a test of time, through a virus that has claimed lives and continues to threaten more.As a result, my community members and I are located sparsely, working from different parts of the world aided by the very technology that was more recently a topic for debate on its threat.” – Faith Kariuki

“The previous department head has retired from my former employer. He did not support the home office and a lot of things were printed out. In addition, staff evaluation was not important to him. He always said, “if you are not good, you would not be with us”. His approach meant that one could not know where to improve, and it was not really useful feedback. The new department head is more than 20 years younger. With him, a lot of things have changed. Some people are now allowed to work from home. He advocated that we would get two screens and new programs so that we no longer have to print everything. This has been a very eye-opening experience about the varieties between different generations” – Marina Jenzer

“During an internship in 2019 in a company specializing in video surveillance and artificial intelligence, I had the opportunity to discover how artificial intelligence and humans could live together. For example, in banks, we are able to detect a person with outstretched arms with an object in their hands (the case of someone pointing a weapon). Artificial intelligence will recognize this unusual position and will trigger alerts. The application of this type of system must respect the rules and the privacy of each individual. There are therefore limits to the use of new technologies” – Romain Maire

“We can now communicate with technology assistance wherever we go. For example, technology supports international companies to communicate in real-time and have virtual meetings. In addition, travelers can use their language while traveling, since apps, like google translate, helps them communicate with the locals. Despite all the positive features technology has offered, communication virtually has always brought up some issues. Different cultures have their norms when it comes to communication as well as different age groups have their way of communicating. None of the norms are wrong or right. It’s just different and sometimes hard to understand without the right context and absence of body language.” – Yada Ruppert


We think that technology is a great tool for our everyday life, it helps our daily chores in our jobs, studies, and communication. But as humans, we shouldn’t forget the need for human connections. Technology gives us great benefits, but do we know the right ways to integrate them into our lives? We’ll see in the future, since technology is still developing rapidly. Our community thinks that humans still have their primitive basic needs in day-to-day life and technology should help us to do the “unpleasant” jobs so that we are able to satisfy our needs.


Atef, H. & Medhat, M. (2015) Blended Learning Possibilities in Enhancing Education retrieved from

Daugherty, P. (2015) Blending Humans and Technology in the Workforce Source:

Holden & Westfall (2006), Blended Learning – it’s challenges and future. Retrieved from:

Jordan Nguyen. Technology Is Reinventing Humanity. June 16, 2016.

Li, C. 2010. Open leadership. [How social technology can transform the way you lead]. Jossey-Bass. Accessed on 24 March 2020. Retrieved from

Maeda, J., & Bermont, B. 2011. Redesigning leadership. Cambridge, London: The MIT Press. Accessed on 24 March 2020. Retrieved from

Owen, P., S. & Demb A. 2004. Change dynamics and leadership in technology implementation. The Journal of Higher Education, Vol.75, No.6. Accessed on 24 March 2020. Retrieved from

Source statistics:

Top Employer Institute:

Zoccoli, M 2019. Connectivism, the pedagogical social fabric and the pipe as a knowledge and skills conductor in the professional identity formation of the student in higher education in the 21st century.

What can I do to help slow the spread of COVID-19? 2020. Speaker: Elie Losleben. Leaders in any organization can play a role in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Singularity University.

Kariuki F. (2020). Personal experience.

Jenzer M. (2020). Personal experience.

Maire R.  (2020). Personal experience.

Rupper Y. (2020). Personal experience.