Steering technological change

The dynamics of technological innovation strongly influences societies and new mechanisms attuned to societal needs must be set up to ensure that technological developments benefit social progress

  • New technologies offer breakthrough innovations in health care, can eliminate tedious and hazardous tasks, provide unprecedented tools for coordination across the world, and develop clean energy and nature-based solutions.
  • Digital technologies feed the current environmental, social and governance crises: disrupting democracy and rational public debate, raising polarization and mental health issues, impacting jobs and social cohesion, boosting the energy demand and the extraction of rare materials, and even inducing new forms of war.
  • New technologies raise existential questions on what it is to be human – exploring taboo frontiers through synthetic biology, AI-augmented humans or “humanized” robots – as well as the role of humans in AI-generated decision-making and in future innovation.
  • Technological innovation operates under a regulatory framework which is associated with the growing concentration of data, power and wealth and impedes the development of knowledge as a global public good.