Meeting Description: To what degree are our physical technologies outpacing our social technologies and systems? The central hypothesis of the workshop is that the widening gap between technological advancements and lagging cultural and social structures and institutions is causing a variety of complex societal stresses and problems. These include concerns about rising economic inequality, fears over job losses due to automation, the increasing power of digital monopolies, the rise of populism, growing criticism of democratic governance systems, loss of privacy and freedom, intensifying societal polarization, a loss of faith in experts and data sources, and growing dysfunction in key institutions. Looking further ahead, emerging technologies raise questions about what it means to be human itself.
The workshop will mainly include scientists but also business and government leaders, as well as civic society organizations. The cumulative cross-disciplinary evidence produced during this workshop will be published in a book organized in chapters written by the participating experts. Further, a documentary film on the workshop topic is under way and we plan to engage a popular media outlet to help disseminate both the discussion issues and results.
This working group is supported in part by The Nick and Leslie Hanauer Foundation.