#Techourfuture: Understanding New Technology – A Social Issue Central to Future Trends

Results of an assessment of the Technologie*Begreifen macro testbed funding project

On June 10, 2021, five external evaluators traveled to the Steinbeis House for Management and Technology (SHMT) in the Stuttgart district of Hohenheim to meet up with the #techourfuture project team from the Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute. Top of their agenda was an assessment of whether the project had achieved its goals. Also at the meeting was a representative of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs, which sponsored the project.

Launched in November 2018, the goal of the #techourfuture initiative was to develop a suitable format for enabling members of the general public – from all areas of society – to find out everything they would be interested to know about future forms of technology. A good two and a half years later, the #techourfuture team and an external panel of experts met up to assess progress made with the project, which was funded by the Baden-Wuerttemberg Minister of Economic Affairs. They also discussed whether agreed goals had been met.

A project offering much potential for the future

The meeting delegates were in unanimous agreement on one thing: It is now more important than ever before to manage and process what we know about emerging technology and share this knowledge with society. The approach taken on this project of enabling visitors to join a so-called forum of trust and providing them with detailed information on different types of technology holds tremendous potential for the future.

In particular, offering the general public the chance to get to know technology – by experiencing it at first hand and watching devices and processes being demonstrated – plays a decisive role in allowing them to participate in dialog surrounding technology. One particular aspect was considered valuable: reaching out to and involving different types of people in society. The event format – open discussion in forums with younger people alongside older people, from all strata of social life, including tech-savvy people next to others not previously interested in technology – is refreshing and does more to broaden horizons than simply holding technical lectures. The conclusion at the assessment meeting was clear: The topics examined and the way in which the project was implemented deliver benefit to society.

During the project, secondary scientific research was also conducted into the causes of observed “technology indifference.” One key insight from this accompanying research was that some people fear they might lose control when using technology. The research results are still being evaluated but once complete, they should indicate the extent to which sharing knowledge in a neutral manner can help reduce such reservations.

Further information: www.techourfuture.de.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Norbert Höptner (author)
Research Fellow
Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute (Stuttgart)

Dr. Marlene Gottwald (author)
Senior Research Fellow
Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute (Stuttgart)