Governing Transformative Technologies

Recent years have been marked by a growing interest in transformative technologies (TT). These technologies reshape socio-economic orders in fundamental and lasting ways. Although TT are frequently seen as the key to tackling today's grand societal challenges, including climate change, energy security, health, mobility, and education, they can create problems on their own, just like previous technologies have contributed to today’s grand challenges, such as inequality, technological dependence, the decline of local and national industries, or challenges to democracy, privacy, and ethical norms. Moreover, new technologies like AI, autonomous driving, or gene editing have prompted considerable public controversy, buoyed by what could be described as growing innovation skepticism at large.

These ambivalences of TT – their positive and negative impacts, and the need to balance disruptiveness and competition against democratic deliberation and social cohesion – have triggered a major rethinking in the social sciences studying innovation and entrepreneurship about their core assumptions, empirical scope, as well as the tools and metrics needed to assess and shape novel technologies.

The GoTransTech TUM Innovation Network consisting of scholars from different disciplines around the topic innovation - economics, management, science and technology studies, sociology, psychology and political science is committed to the transdisciplinary study of the ambivalence of TT with the ambition of developing a more sustainable way of understanding and steering innovation for societal benefit. The Network aims to address these changing demands on innovation theory, empirical research, and practice head-on. Using an integrative, interdisciplinary social science approach in conjunction with strong ties to engineering expertise, the researchers rethink the foundations for studying and evaluating TT. Finally, they advance new theories, methods and empirical evidence to capture the complexity and ambivalence of the transformative dynamics ensuing from, and shaping, novel technologies across scales, markets and societies.

Our Team

Doctoral theses

  • Governance and Responsibility in Emerging Quantum Computing Technologies (Cecilia Ayres Peres)
  • Exploring cultural differences in consumers' cognitive fexibility (Nadine Benninger)
  • Mission Orientation and Innovation Cluster in the European Union (Felix Kurz)