Society and innovations: understanding the contexts, processes and consequences
The times of social, economic, technological and cultural changes we live in generate opportunities as well as new challenges for people, society and culture. Innovations will bring (assumed) benefits and (perceived) threats. They may bring economic progress but also societal anxieties and feelings of insecurity. Technological changes will affect employment and production as well as ethics, trust, legal frameworks, decision-making processes, social protection mechanisms, education and learning. At the same time, society will shape these technological changes. The changes will open discussions on values and identities, principles of democracy, questions of social justice, cohesion and inclusion, knowledge and information and the meaning of work and leisure. There will be changes in the way people communicate with each other (and, increasingly, with machines and robots) and find meaning in their lives. To ensure that future innovations and decision-making are imaginative, culturally and historically informed, ethically grounded and context-specific, a knowledge base on the contexts, processes and consequences of innovations is needed.
The proposed research will focus on the ethical, legal, social, economic, educational, gender, cultural, religious and historical contexts and consequences (or impacts) of innovations. Inter- and transdisciplinary research will be promoted for example, on the consequences of the digital turn on democratic values and procedures, political participation, on inequalities (gender, race, ethnicities, etc), societal cohesion, the influence on education and learning, work, employment, entrepreneurship, social protection mechanisms and the Welfare State as well as on identities, gender aspects, legal issues and ethical concerns, cultural practices, the arts, communication media, public discourse, public spaces and security.