Introducing complexity in governing emerging technologies – From conceptual frameworks to a theory based approach

Author: Davy van Doren (FRAUNHOFER ISI)


In socio-technical transformation research, there has been considerable attention for emergence of new technologies. Emerging technologies have large potential to fulfil societal needs and support sustainable development and societal resilience. However, governance and management of emerging technologies is complicated by lack of knowledge and complexity. Lack of sufficient knowledge obscures decision making concerning the direction of technology development. Increased system complexity, in respect to the creation, development and use of emerging technologies, reduces the effectiveness of traditional governance and management approaches. In order to support the governance and management of emerging technologies, models can be used to understand and steer system, organisation and innovation dynamics. However, current models are not able to grasp and predict the behaviour of complex systems. In traditional governance and management models, the contribution of learning and innovation dynamics in explaining the adaptive capacity of complex system models is lacking. The aim of this research is to develop insights how governance and management of emerging technologies can be improved by the integration of learning and innovation dynamics into theory based models of complex systems.