Technology Dynamics

Concepts of socio-technological change, and the drivers and barriers in the innovation change process, such as economic-, social-, or knowledge drivers will be the core of the course. The course focuses on the relation between society and technology including the way societal values such as sustainable development are affected by new technologies. In particular, it offers concepts, theories, and methods to incorporate these societal values into design processes in a responsible way. Moreover, we will look at the role of different stakeholders, i.e. universities, firms and government in innovation systems.

More specifically, the course addresses these issues as follows:

1) Theories on technological development and its relation with society will be presented, including technological determinism, social construction of technology, and quasi-evolutionary theory. These theories give rise to reflections on the possibility of technological forecasting and the necessity to attend societal values already in the innovation process itself.

2) Methods to integrate societal values into design processes will be presented, such as constructive technology assessment (CTA) and value sensitive design.

3) Innovation systems will be presented by discussing how innovative agents and knowledge infrastructure shape and drive innovation systems on the industry level as well as on the regional, national and global level. Using the so-called Triple-Helix approach we investigate university-industry-government linkages as well as the role of management and policy in this context.

At the end of the course the student is able to analyze dynamic processes of technological change from different methodological angles. Students are able to reflect on the societal implications of technological change and the challenges that society poses to technology and industry, and they have command over the methods and conceptual tools to integrate these societal challenges in innovation processes.

Lecture by Dr. Ir. Udo Pesch