The student can:
- Understand the value of anticipating potential future outcomes of innovation in socio-technical contexts from a sustainability perspective (i.e. social, environmental, economic).
- Explore and define societal challenges related to an innovation/design to better understand who/what may be affected and how, and thus imagine potential future outcomes in society
- Contextualize societal challenges by analyzing the current socio-technical context and local specificities (e.g. of an organization)
- Design and build socio-technical scenarios for future use and the potential sustainability impacts of an innovation/design in which society, markets, producers and users/consumers/citizens play a crucial role.
- Express future scenarios using different creative mediums (e.g., narratives, video/sound, visual stories, prototypes)
- Develop reflective and communicative skills to support transdisciplinary collaboration (e.g. with other academic disciplines, practitioners, laypeople) and the coproduction of future scenarios
- Learn by doing, through group work, experiential and hands-on activities, and self-reflection
- Use academic English in both oral and written form.
Implementing innovations successfully is not just a matter of a great idea and effective product or process development. It is perhaps more important to have an idea of why your innovation is important and what it will do once you put it ‘out there’, i.e. when you decide to make it publicly accessible on the market or otherwise. These aspects of innovation dynamics is explored in “Socio-technical Futures”.|
How can we shape sustainable cities and communities? Which technologies are needed and why? Will they be successful and how desirable are these technologies in society from a sustainability perspective? What can we learn from what already exists and how necessary and important are radical innovations? What kinds of futures might such technological innovations shape, and for whom? These are the kinds of questions we will explore in this hands-on course on Socio-technical Futures. We will try to find ways in which we can deal with the uncertainties of the future and make sensible, responsible decisions about innovations in products and processes, but also in, for example, governance approaches.
In Socio-technical Futures, the background and potential impacts of innovation in society are explored. During lectures, which will be organized as workshop sessions, we will explore and engage with societal challenges revolving around technological innovation to better understand what kinds of, and how, innovation may shape sustainable cities and communities. This approach is used to structure analysis and reflection on what impacts technological innovations may have in society. A thorough analysis of ‘what is’ and engagement with external organizations will represent the basis on which scenarios for the future use of innovations will be developed. The students will engage with creative methods to design and build scenarios that take into account the perspectives of a variety of stakeholders, including not only users/consumers/citizens, but also producers, markets and society in general.