Future Emerging Technologies: Shaping the future through futuring, visioneering, and anticipating possible impacts of techno-scientific innovation Conference Presentation EASST 2016: Barcelona September 2


european association for the study of science and technology

Presentation Petra Schaper-Rinkel, Barcelona, September 2, EASST 2016

Anticipating future emerging technologies (FET) is a performative practice that creates a multitude of broader futures – mainly based on future technologies. The practices to produce hypothetical futures of techbased-societies is based on changing methods and techniques, ranging from the creation of visions and scenarios to modelling the economic impact of technological change upon the economy.  The papers aim is threefold: First, we will show that anticipating future emerging technologies is a performative practice that constitutes agency, creates its subjects and shapes its objects. Second, we will analyse the specificity of future knowledge by analysing how future-making is based on the intermingling of arts, technoscience and politics. Third, that anticipation is a political practice where stakeholders aim at shaping the future by imaging, colonizing, taming, controlling futures.  Based on two EU projects on the EU FET Program we will distinguish between different ways of creating techno-scientific futures.

  • Futuring is a set of practices of exploring, predicting, and forecasting futures by asking what is going to happen in the future. The explorative dimension of future technologies is mainly captured by scenarios to explore various futures.
  • Visioneering  is about the normative dimension of future technologies, the framing of technologies and about developing desirable futures. Conflicts arise about desirable vs undesirable futures and the role technologies can play.
  • Anticipating (in the stricter sense) is about the process dimension and the governance mechanism to control the future.