Societal transformation 2018–2037. 100 anticipated radical technologies, 20 regimes, case Finland
Linturi, Risto; Kuusi, Osmo (2018) Societal transformation 2018–2037. 100 anticipated radical technologies, 20 regimes, case Finland; (Publication of the Committee for the Future 10/2018). Parliament of Finland: Helsinki.
You are holding in your hands perhaps the most important book ever written about radical technologies. In this brief preface, I will state the reasons for this and provide some tips for how you should use this book to support your own deliberations. But before that, we need to go back in time and briefly review why and for whom this book is written. This time, the book is divided into two sections. The first section presents a report and research results by the Committee for the Future, while the latter section introduces the methods, valueproducing networks and technologies. The key role of the Finnish Parliament’s Committee for the Future is to evaluate the development of technologies. For this purpose, the Radical Technologies section was launched during the government term of 2011–2015. At the time, the section, under the leadership of Adjunct Professor Osmo Kuusi, conducted a study and evaluation of international organisations that carry out technology foresight work: what type of methods they use in their own evaluations and what type of future scenarios they produce (TUVJ 2/2013). We learned from the best. Based on the report, we developed our own foresight method, which we refer to as the Radical Technology Inquirer (RTI). This model was first published in the publication Suomen sata uutta mahdollisuutta (TUVJ 6/2013) by the Committee for the Future. An observant reader who has read the report in question will notice immediately that the model has been developed further. I suppose I should also answer the question why we changed the model despite our model having been utilised in an OECD report as one of the best national technology foresight methods in the world (OECD Science, Technology and Innovation Outlook 2016) and in foresight work by the European Commission, among other things. We wanted to continue developing the model and obtaining answers to any new questions that we ask. In addition to wanting to identify the 100 most promising technologies as a result of this report, we also wanted to identify 100 legislative objectives with which the adoption of technologies can be streamlined. Furthermore, we wanted to identify 100 new professions of the future in order to be able to prepare for upcoming challenges with the right knowledge and skills. We managed to exceed this goal and identified 200 professions. The legislative objectives and professions are listed under each value-producing network in both the actual research report and the statement prepared by the Committee. In order to obtain answers with regard to the legislative objectives and professions, we replaced the section on customer knowledge in different export areas and export channels, which was used in the Radical Technology Inquirer in the previous report, with extensive consultation with experts. During the consultation with experts, we heard evaluations of the technologies with regard to the various value-producing networks from trade unions, ministries and research institutes. This change also, for its part, demonstrates how flexible the application of our Radical Technology Inquirer can be. The basic idea has remained the same. The RTI is basically a tool that can be used to identify rapidly evolving technologies and quickly get involved in the research related to them. However, we noticed that we are also able to compare the rates of change in the various value-producing networks. The results we received are very interesting. These are discussed in the Committee’s own section. An easy way to explain our method could be to describe it as asking questions or creating lists of questions systematically. We often receive the right answers when we ask the right questions. Furthermore, when we systematically pose the right questions to suitable groups of experts, we are better able to receive the right answers. This is the method followed in our report. To my understanding, no report on technology foresight has posed questions regarding value-producing networks and technologies as systematically as we have in our report. We can consider to some extent that the report has improved on the socio-technical regime model proposed by Professor Frank W. Geels, which is described in the introduction to this report. To our knowledge, our report is the most extensive practical application of the sociotechnical regime model in the world. No one else has previously tried to apply the regime model to all societal functions simultaneously. (An excerpt from the preface by MP Ville Vähämäki, Chairman of the steering group of the Radical Technologies project)
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Committee for the Future of the Parliament of Finland (ComFuture)