Emerging Technologies and the Role of NGOs: Exploring Anticipatory Governance in Practice

18 Sep 2017
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

470 Stephens Hall

Event Type

Evan Michelson
Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

Ann Keller
Associate Professor, Health Policy & Management

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are increasingly involved in policy discussions surrounding the societal implications of emerging technologies. These institutions will continue to play a critical role in influencing present-day policy discussions while simultaneously looking ahead over the long-term. But what practices and strategies undertaken by these organizations are most influential in anticipating the longer-term societal implications of emerging technologies?

This talk will discuss the results of a five year qualitative research study that investigated how different high-profile organizations involved in nanotechnology and synthetic biology policy looked to influence debates in these areas. Using semi-structured interviews and document analysis, this research focused on trying to understand the impact of such efforts undertaken at the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) and the Synthetic Biology Project, both based at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, along with the International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON). In doing so, the study developed an adapted version of the anticipatory governance conceptual framework and applied it to make sense of how NGOs contribute to shaping policy related to emerging technologies. The presentation will discuss key findings and provide an overview of the thematic and cross-cutting lessons learned that can be potentially transferable to other NGOs working on exploring the societal implications of related emerging technologies both now and in the future.

This event is sponsored by CSTMS.
Additional sponsorship comes from:  CSTMS

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