Economic transformation, meeting human needs, and protecting the environment have emerged as global grand challenges. One way to address these challenges is to harness the world’s abundant scientific, technological, and engineering knowledge to meet specific human needs. While some of the technologies offer solutions to global challenges, they also threaten to disrupt incumbent industries and social organization. Technological anxiety and outright opposition to disruptive technologies, however, may undermine such efforts.
The aim of this conference is to map emerging technologies that could address global grand challenges, review their disruptive characteristics, identify potential sources of social concern, and outline business models and public policies on how to address the social concerns. The conference builds on the findings of the newly published book, Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies (Oxford University Press, 2016).
The conference will address emerging technologies in fields such as data analytics, geographic information, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation and health. It will incorporate demonstrations from entrepreneurs who are using innovative technologies to address these challenges.