The Impact of Technology in the Home


Far from Home

Queen’s Anniversary Prize

At HRF, we are delighted to share with you the message sent by the Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University. We also celebrate the Prize and our partnership. And we would love to continue working with this prestigious institution and our patron Professor Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem.

Dear Mr Sanderson,

I very much hope you and all your colleagues at the Home Renaissance Foundation are safe and well and have had a successful start to 2022.

I am writing to express my sincere thanks for the important role the partnership between our two organisations played in NTU winning the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for our work in advancing cultural heritage science. The prize will be presented to us in a ceremony in London tomorrow (17 February). These prizes are only awarded every two years and are the highest form of recognition open to UK academic institutions.

It is for this reason, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to your organisation and, in particular, your colleague Ms Mercedes Jaureguibeitia for the role she played in partnership with my colleagues at NTU in ensuring the global excellence and impact of our research in cultural heritage science.

As a globally-connected university, we are committed to delivering real benefit to the wider world through our research and are conscious this is only possible thanks to our global network of collaborators. I very much look forward to hearing about further developments and successes linked to our collaboration in the year ahead.

Best wishes,


Professor Edward Peck CBE DL FAcSS PhD

Vice-Chancellor and President

Learning from adversity

The Home in the Digital Age in London

The international think tank, Home Renaissance Foundation, launches its latest book The Home in the Digital Age on Monday 7 February at the House of Commons during a session hosted by Miriam Cates MP.

The aim is to analyse the impact of artificial intelligence on the home and the policy implications with experts and to open the floor to attendees.

Contributions by:

– Bryan K. Sanderson CBE, Chair of Home Renaissance Foundation (HRF)

– Anne Fennell, Chair of Mothers At Home Matter (MAHM)

– Dr. Stephen Davies, Historian and Head of Education at the Institute of Economic Affairs and a key contributor to the book The Home in the Digital Age.

– Dr. Tom Harrison, Director of Education at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, and author of the book Thrive: How to cultivate character so your children can flourish online.

The session will end with an opportunity for further discussion and questions.

Digital strategy for families

Chairman´s End of Year message

Dear friends,
It is a pleasure to take this opportunity to get back in touch with you to give a brief recap of some of HRF’s most significant activities carried out in 2021. A year marked by the hope of vaccines but also by the uncertainty of new variants that have slightly destabilised the recovery and the return to normality.

We started the year with the virtual workshops of our conference ‘Happy Homes, Happy Society?’ and greatly appreciated the work done by the researchers who presented their papers. We are delighted that Routledge will be publishing this work – our third publication with them. As I write, the editors, Maria Teresa Russo, Antonio Argandoña and Richard Peatfield are putting together the final preparation for the book..

Later in the spring we celebrated the global virtual launch of the book ‘People, Care and Work in the Home’, with the collaboration of Nottingham Trent University, and hosted by chief editor Professor Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem. Amongst the authors, Lord Best, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People, stressed the need for “right-sizing” in homes for later life and Baroness Hollins, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry and Disability, spoke from the personal and professional experience of the value of home for those with intellectual disabilities. You can watch their speeches again by clicking on their names.

Motivated by the very positive response to the communication project ‘Home in the Time of Coronavirus’, we decided to launch a new project based on testimonies: ‘Caring at Home for those with extra needs.’ Thanks to the collaboration of all the participants, we were able to hear fascinating stories of effort, care and enormous dedication. Both projects are still being downloaded in all the languages in which they were launched.

2021 also marked the beginning of HRF’s research partnership with the International Centre for Work and Family  (ICWF) at IESE Business School. The results of this research will provide new perspectives on the home,and will enable us to continue working to achieve that social change in the culture of the home that is needed now more than ever.

In the late autumn HRF’s board of directors met in Barcelona to evaluate the work carried out so far in the 15 years of the Foundation’s existence and to reflect on and establish our objectives for the next 5 years. There is much to look forward to here and we shall certainly keep you posted.
The year closed with our most recent publication ‘The Home in the Digital Age’, being launched, with a face-to-face event in Madrid at the Fundación Telefónica and a virtual one in Argentina at the invitation of the Asociación Mujeres Independientes y Federales. In the agenda for next year there are meetings at the House of Commons, the European Parliament and in Mexico. Amongst these many and varied events about which you will hear more details soon, let us hope that we will be able to meet again too.
In the meantime, I wish you a very Happy Christmas, and may you enjoy it with your family and find your own homes filled with joy this season,
With best wishes,
Bryan K. Sanderson

Press Release | The Home in the Digital Age

“The levels of mental disorders, depression and even suicide have increased among the new generations of university students. It is an epidemic that has to do with the impact of technology on our way of life”, Ignacio Aizpún, director general of ATAM.

Madrid | 5 Nov 2021. On the occasion of the presentation of the book The Home in the Digital Age by the international think tank Home Renaissance Foundation, a round table discussion with experts took place last week at Telefónica Foundation to analyse the impact of technology in the home.

The impact of technology on homes and society as a whole is evident, “it is even transforming the way our minds communicate. This has consequences and is causing new diseases due to maladjustment,” explained Ignacio Aizpún, director general of ATAM.

The sociologist and member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts, Julio Díez Nicolás, stated that technology has been with us since the Stone Age, because human beings must survive. Thanks to human intelligence and life in society, people are adapting. “Technology has always been the fundamental factor of social change because it provides us with a different future. Today there are five inventions that will change our lives: artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, holograms and virtual reality,” said Díaz.

But what is Artificial Intelligence and how does it affect our daily lives? María José Monferrer, an engineer and founder of AI-verse, tried to answer this question. She defined AI as a “multidisciplinary field of science and engineering whose aim is to create intelligent machines that emulate human intelligence and, eventually, surpass that intelligence. Therein lies the risk.

Monferrer warned that we have implemented some technologies in the home, but we are only at the beginning of the uses we will be able to make of AI. So it’s a good time to stop and assess the risks. It is important to think about how we can apply the rules to protect the fundamental rights at stake: personal data protection, privacy and non-discrimination.

ATAM is clear about the use of AI, as Aizpún stated, “we need to be able to process the information that AI provides us with in the form of data to learn more about the person, their situation, their health variables, their activity, their functioning, their context. Only by transmitting, governing and activating this data in a secure way will we be able to generate responses and solutions that allow the disabled or dependent person to continue living at home in optimal conditions of safety, health and integrity”.

The three speakers and the Director-General of Childhood, Family and Birth Promotion, Alberto San Juan, who closed the event, agreed on the importance of putting the person at the centre of this technological transformation and on continuous, personal and family training as a solution to many of the challenges presented by technologies in the home. “The family must be cared for as the most precious asset and this is done with love, patience and training. The lifelong School for Parents is still essential and necessary. In the Community of Madrid we are facing real dramas due to the misuse of technology among young people,” warned San Juan.

In 2008, the Community of Madrid created a service to help families, inviting them to discuss their concerns about the misuse of technology in the home.  Alberto San Juan explained “we attend to families with children between 10 and 18 years old. Families come when they suspect that their children’s relationship with technology is not good and is not helping family coexistence. Young people are sometimes betting on each other having a 24, 48, which means spending two days in a row playing games and connected to the Internet”.

Despite the risks that technology can pose for households, it was clear that technology is neutral, it is neither good nor bad, in itself, it depends on the use that people make of it, although Aizpún wanted to stress that we have an important mission, “we must create new social institutions, new models of social organisation that allow human beings to adapt to these new environmental conditions that technology is creating”.

The event can be watched again here.

The Home in the Digital Age in Madrid

We are delighted to announce our next face-to-face event. The home in the digital age. The impact of Artificial Intelligence in our homes.
On the occasion of the publication of the book, The Home in the Digital Age, we will be holding a round table discussion with experts to analyse the impact of Artificial Intelligence in our homes on Thursday 4 November at 12.00h at the Telefónica Foundation headquarters in Madrid (c/ Fuencarral 3).

The event will be opened by Professor Antonio Argandoña, Emeritus of IESE and Director of HRF, and the round table will be moderated by Professor Matilde Santos from Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.

The participants will be:
Ignacio Aizpún, Director General of ATAM
María José Monferrer, President of AIverseTech
Juan Diez Nicolás, President of the Spanish Delegation of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and Founder of the CIS.

And the event will be closed by Alberto San Juan, the Director-General of Childhood, Family and Birth Promotion of the Community of Madrid.

Places are limited, so please, register here.