Institute for Technology Assessment and  Systems Analysis (ITAS)

Research group “Socio-Technical Futures and Policies” (STZP)

Socio-technical transformation processes, which are currently taking place at regional and global levels at the interfaces between science, politics, and society, challenge technology assessment (TA) as science and knowledge policy. Against this background, TA is increasingly confronted with uncertain, controversial, and at the same time effective socio-technical futures (visions, utopias, imaginaries). TA has to face the challenges to adapt to new socio-technical problems on the one hand and position itself in changed constellations of knowledge policy all over the world on the other hand.

The research group aims at

  • the systematic development of concepts and methods of vision assessment and research of spatio-temporal conjunctures in order to be able to assess the effectiveness of socio-technical futures and the dynamics of spatial and temporal constellations in transformation processes,
  • the development of theories and methods for the identification and analysis of socio-technical problems related to system transformations and the development of formats for implementing sustainable transformations and
  • the investigation of options for the knowledge policy-related positioning of TA in global science-policy constellations and the establishment of appropriate policy networks.

Our main topics of research (PDF)