Digital Enablement Research Network (DERN)

The Digital Enablement Research Network (DERN) is an incubator of impact-based research focusing on the transformation of organisations, the economy and society through innovative digital technologies.

DERN joins an elite group of academics with industry partners in the Asia-Pacific region and globally to develop innovative solutions for practice-inspired research projects.

Approach to Impact Research: Digital Sandboxing

Digital Sandboxing is a methodology proposed and adopted by DERN to incubate collaborative and problem-driven impact-based research.

The three pillars underpinning DERN’s Digital Sandboxing methodology are:

  • Structured Exploration: Researchers working closely with practitioners identify issues of common interest as research and innovation opportunity
  • Pragmatic Analysis: Researchers perform informed and viable analysis of the posed questions to design appropriate solutions
  • Situational Insights: Actionable insights and proofs-of-concept are developed based on close collaboration among researchers and participating organization, experiments and iterative feedback cycle

Our Digital Sandboxes

Berjaya Retail Innovation (BRI) Consumer Analytics Sandbox

This sandbox leverages on consumer analytics to create effective campaign strategies to promote customer engagement

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Ecosysnet Blockchain-enabled Reward System Sandbox

This sandbox explores the application of blockchain in consumer loyalty context

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Humanitix Social Listening Sandbox

This sandbox develops social listening capabilities to empower businesses to engage in collaborative conversations and create a better customer experience

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Tiger and Wildlife Conservation Analytics Sandbox

This sandbox designs a wildlife conservation analytics platform to strengthen efforts to curb poaching of wildlife

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IAG Cyber-Threats Intelligence (CTI) Sandbox

This sandbox analyses cyber-threats landscape and design cyber-defence mechanisms for today’s cyber workforce

Learn more >


Network Members

Network Leader

Dr. Shan Pan | AGSM Scholar & Professor, School of Information Systems

Shan L Pan is AGSM scholar and Head of School of Information Systems, Technology and Management at the UNSW Business School, The University of New South Wales. Prior to joining UNSW, he was formerly a tenured professor at the National University of Singapore. He is currently a research affiliate with the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Germany.

He is the founder and coordinator of Digital Enablement Research Network (DERN), a research incubator that champions high impact research. His research interest is digital enablement within the contexts of business and social innovation. He has conducted in-depth studies on state-owned enterprises, commercial organisations, rural villages, and non-profit organisations in China, Germany, Finland, India and parts of Southeast Asia. He has published in journals such as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of the AIS, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Communications of ACM, Information Systems Journal, European Journal of Information Systems, and among others.

Core Members

Dr. Songting Dong | Senior Lecturer, School of Marketing

Dr. Dong’s major research interest lies in studying consumers’ preferences and their decision making journey, particularly in the digital age. He attempts to advance the knowledge in this area by improving preference elicitation methods and utilizing advanced quantitative modeling approaches. Songting earned his Bachelor’s and Doctor’s degrees (both with distinction) from Tsinghua University. Part of his PhD training was conducted in Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University. His research works have appeared in Journal of Marketing Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing, and Journal of Product Innovation Management.

Dr. Yenni Tim | Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​Yenni Tim is an early career researcher and a lecturer in the School of Information Systems and Technology Management, UNSW Business School. She holds a PhD in Information Systems with research interests on emerging digital enablement phenomena and the unintended consequences of technologies.

Dr. Sandeep Mysore Seshadrinath | Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​​Sandeep is a Lecturer in Information Systems, Technology and Management at UNSW Business School. He holds a PhD in Business & Management from Loughborough University, UK. In his dissertation he studied impact sourcing - a social innovation in outsourcing, in which he explored processes and strategies of social entrepreneurship, community engagement and sociocultural transitions. Broadly, his research interests lie in the social study of information systems, with a special focus on digitally-enabled social transformations. He has published his work in reputed journals such as Information Systems Journal, Information & Management and The Journal of Strategic Information Systems.

Dr. Veronica Jiang | Lecturer, School of Marketing

​Veronica's research focuses on consumer behaviour and judgment making. Specifically, she is interested in how consumers arrive at their decisions and the motivations behind these decision processes. For example, one of her research streams investigates how large variety of options influences consumers’ information processing and choices. And another research stream of hers examines the interaction between beauty and decision makings. Also, she is a member of Digital Enablement Research Network (DERN), one of the emerging research strengths of UNSW Business School. Together with colleagues from multiple disciplines, DERN studies how digital technology can revolutionize social and economic interactions.

Dr. Sam Kirshner | AGSM Scholar, Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​​Sam Kirshner is a lecturer in the area of Operations Management and Business Analytics. He studied electrical engineering at the undergraduate level and then obtained his MSc. and PhD in Management Science at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. His primary research interests lie in the areas of revenue management, technology management, and consumer exchange markets. His research addresses pricing and production decisions across a firm's family of products in the face of demand uncertainty using models based on optimization techniques and game theory.

Affiliated Members

Dr. Petri Hallikainen | Senior Lecturer, School of Business Information Systems, U.Syd

​​Dr Petri Hallikainen holds a D.Sc. (Econ.) degree from the Helsinki School of Economics, Finland. He earned his M.Sc. and L.Sc. degrees from the same institution. He was also awarded the title of Adjunct Professor at the Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, Finland.

Dr. Daniel Schlagwein | Senior Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​​Dr. Daniel Schlagwein is a Senior Lecturer of Information Systems at the UNSW Business School in Sydney. His research is focused on IT-enabled openness, crowdsourcing and digital work. Prior to entering academia, he was a consultant in the ICT industry. Daniel has authored over 30 peer-reviewed papers, and has been published in leading academic journals. Daniel received the UNSW Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014. In the same year, the UNSW Business School students granted Daniel their "Student Choice Award". He was a Visiting Professor at the Copenhagen Business School and New York University's Leonard H. Stern School of Business in 2015.

Dr. Felix Tan | Senior Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​​Dr Felix Tan is an early career Information Systems researcher at the UNSW business school. He actively investigates the enabling effects of enterprise systems and digital platforms, in the contexts of business and society, with particular emphasis on disruption, strategies, structures, and transformation. He has conducted ICT related fieldwork-based research and projects with over 20 companies and technology startups across Asia-Pacific. Dr Tan is an SAP academic alliance professor and delivered related ICT training in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Australia. Dr Tan has 27 publications in digital enablement research to date.

Dr. Carmen Leong | Lecturer, School of Information Systems

​​Dr Carmen Leong is an early career researcher in the discipline of Information Systems (IS). She received her PhD degree from The National University of Singapore in 2015. Her research interests include digital empowerment in social studies and digitally enabled strategic transformation in organisations.

Wenchi Ying | School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, China

Wenchi Ying is a PhD candidate in the School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, China. He holds a Master's degree in Computer Science and Technology and a Bachelor's degree in Telecommunications. He also is the member of the committee of expert, China Communications Construction Company Limited. His research interests include emerging technology application and management, digital transformation of organisations, and IT project management.

Our Industry Partners

  • Berjaya Group, Malaysia
  • Ecosysnet, China
  • Humanitix, Australia
  • Forest Department, Government of Karnataka, India
  • IAG Group, Australia