Disruption in Society – TA to the rescue!
Disruptions are drastic changes with a (often) destructive character. Destruction does not necessarily have to have a negative connotation; "creative destruction" à la Schumpeter can also be considered. Relevant for us as TA institutions are those disruptions in which technology plays an essential role. At least three roles can be considered: 1. technology as a disruption trigger, e.g., a tipping point in the climate system due to overuse of fossil technologies or a technological innovation that completely transforms an industry (say blockchain and finance) 2. technology as a means to deal with a disruption, e.g. the Covid apps or digitization in education, healthcare, public administration, etc. in response to disruptions caused by the pandemic. 3. technological infrastructures as systems primarily affected by disruption, such as the failure of critical infrastructures (energy supply, internet, water supply, waste, etc.). The tasks that TA can perform in these fields are manifold: identification of vulnerabilities or instabilities, design of scenarios, analysis of possible consequences, early detection of opportunities and risks, etc.
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European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (network) (EPTA)