Technology foresight for social good: Social implications of technological innovation by 2050 from a Global Expert Survey

In Technological Forecasting and Social Change
Volume (Issue): Volume 153, April 2020, 119914
Peer-reviewed Article

Technology foresight is crucial in shaping the futures of social good that brings intrinsic and instrumental values to engage different stakeholders in the process. Within this context, the impact of technological innovation on the society from a multi-dimensional perspective is understudied. This paper addresses and investigates this gap by applying a qualitative survey of 137 experts. The survey's results are then treated using quantitative cross-sectional analysis to examine the interrelationships between lifestyle domains. Our findings indicate that technological innovation benefits society by improving communication and productivity in the supply chain. However, it causes unintended consequences such as deepening inequality and increasing the surveillance of the public. In addition, although technology provides more options for environmentally conscious choices and better infrastructure, its affordability is a concern. The paper concludes that social dimensions merit greater consideration in terms of multi-dimensional analysis and policy implications. It proposes future research to consider wellbeing as a key determining factor in deciding whether certain technology should be promoted to add value to the social good.