Organisation profile

Organisation profile

We investigate how technologies appear legitimate and beneficial to society and how they are developed and applied in a socially sustainable and responsible way.

To operate in society, new technology must be both technically efficient, financially sustainable and socially legitimate. We focus on the processes through which technologies come to be legitimate and how they are developed and implemented in a socially sustainable and responsible way.

The Human-Centred Innovation Section views technological innovation as a social process in which values, communication and practices play a key role. Our approach is both descriptive and normative: We seek to understand and analyse values and practices, as well as their impact on technological innovation. We also engage in sustainable development and take part in responsible innovation and research in a value-based manner to benefit society.

We are particularly interested in controversial technologies because this is often where value issues and communication challenges are most apparent. We view them as key opportunities to learn about the deeper social embeddedness of technology – and also to improve the usefulness and legitimacy of technological development.

The section participates in interdisciplinary collaboration across many cross-cutting themes, including applied ethics, citizen participation, public communication, open innovation and user engagement in different technological domains. Individual section members have specific expertise in several domains, including biotechnology, energy and artificial intelligence.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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