- explain how technological and societal dynamics mutually influence each other drawing on concepts and theories from science, technology and innovation studies
- explain possibilities and limitations of intervening in socio-technical change based on concepts of governance, in particular governance of technology
- explain concrete governance approaches developed on the basis of these concepts
- explain and reflect on the role of anticipatory knowledge in innovation and governance
- reflect on the merits and shortcomings of concepts / approaches
- apply concepts and approaches to concrete cases and derive strategic implications for policy and innovation actors
- set up a (small) research project, develop research questions, and a research plan
- gather appropriate information on a particular field – related to and beyond the student’s disciplinary focus
In this module you will learn how society and technology influence each other, in particular how this plays out in innovation processes when new technologies are developed and embedded into society, and what are possibilities for purposefully shaping innovation processes and socio-technical change. Technologies play a central role for modern societies, be it in the form of enablers of key societal functions such as energy, water, mobility, public health etc., or as creating risks and unwanted effects. Thus, science and technology are also an important issue for governance, with policy and other societal actors trying to shape innovation. As part of this, prospecting possible technology dynamics and also their effects on society is a common activity for research, innovation and governance actors, but needs to be informed by an understanding of socio-technical dynamics.|
The module consists of 3 thematic components and a project. The first component introduces students to concepts, theories and empirical examples which allow them to develop an understanding of the interrelations and dynamic patterns of innovation and social change. The second component delves into selected aspects of governance processes and the possibilities, approaches and limitations of governing innovation and socio-technical change. The third component addresses the role of ‘prospects’ (expectations, scenarios etc.) for the management and governance of innovation, forms of technology assessment and how insights of the former components can be used for prospecting on future developments of and around innovations. In the project, groups of students apply insights from the thematic components to a case of a particular technology or application, resulting in e.g. a strategy recommendation for an innovation actor, a policy recommendation, or a scenario development.
The module’s assessment comprises 4 (sets of) assignments, that contribute to the final grade as follows:
• Assignments Innovation and Social Change (4/15)
• Assignments Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation (4/15)
• Assignments Prospecting and Assessing Technology (3/15)
• Project report (4/15),
where each (set of) assignments needs to be sufficient.