The Research Field “Societal Futures” aims at exploring radical different futures that serve as societal context for transformative innovation policy. The „Societal Futures Knowledge Base” provides the necessary outlook to createhypothetical futures which serve as thinking experiments and as exploratory devices contrasting traditional approaches such as predictions or models for the future.
While short-term policy planning relies on the most probable futures based on the observation of drivers and megatrends, the way to build more resilience in democratic societies is to consider less probable events and prepare for more robust democratic structures and processes.
With the research focus “Societal Futures” we address the interdependence of future technologies and societal futures by analysing disruptive developments and transformations and draw conclusions for anticipatory innovation policy making. For example, societal innovations connected with future technological breakthrough innovation in specific fields such as bio-engineering (e.g. CRISPR/CAS9), artificial life (e.g. brain-machine), as well as in generic research areas such as robotics and automation.
Based on public foresight methods, science and technology studies (STS) and innovation policy lab methodology, we develop novel perspectives and approaches to address societal challenges.