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Converging Technologies – Socio-ecological options for shaping innovations (CONTEC)

The growing connection between nanotechnologies, genetic engineering, information and communications technology and cognitive sciences is one of today’s most influential technological developments with far-reaching consequences for society. The debate about this process, described as “converging technologies”, has a blind spot with regard to the related impact on the environment and sustainability. Against this background, the proposed project aims to apply the competence of the IÖW in the field of socio-ecologically based environmental and sustainability research as well as innovation and technology impact research to the international debate about converging technologies and at the same time to learn from the methods applied to estimating social or ethical consequences for socio-ecological research. The focus is to be placed on the risks and consequences of self-organisation and emergence in the context of information technology and bionics. In addition to active participation in existing networks, this is to be achieved primarily by initiating an independent network, establishing a group of European experts and through diverse publications.

IÖW Project Team

  • Dr. Wilfried Konrad