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NanoEthics

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 93–106 | Cite as

Into Blue Skies—a Transdisciplinary Foresight and Co-creation Method for Adding Robustness to Visioneering

  • Niklas GudowskyEmail author
  • Mahshid Sotoudeh
Original Paper

Abstract

Expectations play a distinctive role in shaping emerging technologies and producing hype cycles when a technology is adopted or fails on the market. To harness expectations, facilitate and provoke forward-looking discussions, and identify policy alternatives, futures studies are required. Here, expert anticipation of possible or probable future developments becomes extremely arbitrary beyond short-term prediction, and the results of futures studies are often controversial, divergent, or even contradictory; thus they are contested. Nevertheless, such socio-technical imaginaries may prescribe a future that seems attainable to those involved in the visioneering process, and other futures may thus become less likely and shaping them could become more difficult. This implies a need to broaden the debate on socio-technological development, creating spaces where policy, science, and society can become mutually responsive to each other. Laypeople’s experiential and value-based knowledge is highly relevant for complementing expertise to inform socially robust decision-making in science and technology. This paper presents the evolution of a transdisciplinary, forward-looking co-creation process—a demand-side approach developed to strengthen needs-driven research and innovation governance by cross-linking knowledge of laypeople, experts, and stakeholders. Three case studies serve as examples. We argue that this approach can be considered a method for adding social robustness to visioneering and to responsible socio-technical change.

Keywords

Transdisciplinarity Foresight Co-creation Upstream engagement Governance of science technology and innovation Visions 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Technology AssessmentAustrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria

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