Keys to futures: societal reflections on developing key technologies and their impacts on human qualifications
The study was aimed at defining and drawing up the most important future trends as regards the development of technology (key technologies) and analysing their societal impacts and impacts on human qualifications. The key technologies to be studied in the survey have been limited to information and communication technology, biotechnology and material and nano technology. In addition, combinations of these technologies, i.e. so-called fusion technologies, are also subjected to an analysis. The methodology of the study is based on the Delphi method. The study was carried out in three phases. The preliminary phase comprised a theoretical-empirical study of the essential trends in the development of technology and a systematisation of the most important future key technologies. The first Delphi round comprised collection and analysis, based on the evaluation by experts, of the material on the future key technologies as defined in the study. The main results comprise the analyses of the technological phenomena and technological theses, and the plausibility and the timing of theses. The following technologies and relating theses were deemed to be the most important ones: highly selective drugs, sensors, integrated technology, biomedical materials, photonic materials, 3G technology, intelligent materials, diagnostics and virtual reality. The main objective of the second Delphi round was to make an analysis of the societal impacts of the technologies
deemed to be crucial during the first round on the basis of the evaluations by experts. The first main result
comprises linking of the most important technological theses with the classes of professions and areas of
education identified so that it is possible to study the change in professions and areas of education, technology by technology and thesis by thesis. The second main result is an analysis of the plausibility and
timing of the new future professions created during the study.
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