Read our new paper: “Transhumanist revolutions”

Mass media from around the world is constantly heralding new scientific and technological breakthroughs that bring upon the promise of healthier, longer, more fulfilling lives: partially restoring the sight of blind people with the aid of artificial retinas, restoring partial movement of previously non-responsive limbs by linking a paralyzed person’s brain to a computer chip, artificial bones, skin, blood, along with more controversial endeavors: editing the human genome through gene-splitting techniques, stem cells primed to promote regeneration, cryogenics and many, many others. The transhumanist movement regards breakthroughs like these as springboards not only to healing people, but to changing and improving humanity. Thanks to scientific developments in converging technologies such as biotechnology, neurotechnology, information technology and nanotechnology, humanity may be on the cusp of an enhancement revolution. 

Our new paper proposes 12 scenarios informed by transhumanism, portraying futures in which the human condition – our bodies, functions, and lives – and the features of societies are fundamentally transformed by technology. We propose these narratives as exploratory scenarios, describing futures where both positive and negative consequences are palpable. They are not normative, outlining a vision of the future deemed desirable. We invite readers to regard them as devices for imagining the future and debating the future. 

You can read more on the context and download the full paper here

Read our new paper: “Data as representation”

What is data? How is data relevant for human and natural ecosystems? The answers depend on the perspective – in a recent paper we propose three scenarios, going from techno-optimism, to equal species recognition, to the philosophy of biocentrism.

In brief, the scenarios are:

  • To the maxx – in which the technological trends of the early 2020s (pattern recognition through AI, greener and FAIR data, digital twins etc.) have reached maximal expansion. In this scenario, science supplies data and algorithms for decision-making, but scientific techno-optimism is confronted with the challenge of understanding and of justifying decisions.
  • Radical responsibility – in which a social technology (equal recognition through a system of rights) is extended to virtually all beings, human and nonhuman. Here, science is enlisted in support of bringing in the perspectives of different species but is confronted with the challenge of integrating these perspectives into broad models accepted by all.
  • We, the life – in which the driving force is a new level of consciousness gained by a growing number of biocentric scientists. Humanity relies on them to inspire ethically grounded worldviews, influencing the design of socio-techno-environmental systems.

Access the full paper here.

Press release: New directions for involving citizens in research and innovations agendas

Setting directions for research and innovation is usually not a job of citizens. But the CIMULACT project has paved the way for involving citizens in the actual formulation of research and innovation agendas.

Continue reading “Press release: New directions for involving citizens in research and innovations agendas”

Published book: Advances in the Theory and Practice of Smart Specialization

Regional growth in the European Union hinges to a large extent on smart specialization, a new and exciting theme in economic innovation studies. Advances in the Theory and Practice of Smart Specialization illuminates problems that have stifled the implementation of smart specialization policies, such as unique regional constraints and the inter-dependent demands of economic growth and commercial development. Forward-looking and pragmatic, it provides guidance for developing smart specialization strategies both to those involved in European affairs and others grappling with regional innovation and economic development worldwide.

  • Emphasizes specific contexts for smart specialization, its international approach and institutional preconditions
  • Examines comparable initiatives worldwide
  • Explains how to implement smart specialization policies given different development levels of regions and countries

Editors: Slavo RadosevicAdrian CurajRadu GheorghiuLiviu Andreescu, Imogen Wade

CIMULACT: Highlights & full report from the Online Consultation

The online consultation Research for Society engaged citizens from 30 countries, together with researchers, stakeholders and policy makers in redefining the European Research and lnnovation agenda to make it more accountable. 3,458 respondents evaluated and enriched, according to their interests and expertise, 48 proposed research programmes

Prospectiva designed and implemented the online consultation platform, with interfaces in 30 languages. The consultation approach is based on the Dynamic Argumentative Delphi (DAD), which Prospectiva has tested in two large-scale foresight exercises.

In light of the online consultation, the top 5 proposed research programmes by average importance, assigned by Europeans in 30 countries are:

  1. Top trending: at one with nature
    Develop approaches for promoting “green” living to encourage more people to adopt ecological life-styles.
  2. Ecological future education
    Develop training programmes and education on ecology and future-thinking for citizens, policy makers and civil cervants to ensure a healthy planet for future generations.
  3. Good food research
    Intensify food inovation and research and increase public knowledge on sustainability, health and nutrition to affect food behaviours in a positive way.
  4. Beyond energy efficiency: reduce consumption through structural design and behaviour
    Explore ways to bring about behaviour change and exploit technological innovation and integrated planning to increase energy sufficiency.
  5. Quantitative person-centred health
    Explore conditions for innovative, personalised and human-centric services for health promotion, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.

ForWiki web 2.0 Foresight comunity platform

The Foresight Wiki is a web-based, collaborative platform supported by the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding from Romania, and developed during the project Quality and Leadership for Romanian Higher Education. The name indicates that the wiki technology for developing collaborative websites is being used. This allows members of the Future Studies & Foresight community of practice to write articles that any other member can edit.

The Foresight Wiki was officially launched on April 15th 2010, during the workshop Jointly Shaping and Launching the Foresight Wiki, coordinated by Dr. Philine Warnke.