Digital art and science
Digital tools are widening access to art and science as pressure builds for artists and scientists to show their value for society to justify their funding. Collaborative, data-intensive projects are becoming more feasible. Art can influence technology and how it is perceived; some say artists should do more to question and shape technology.
- Open access to scientific publications, data
- Crowdfunding, citizen science, co-creation
- Large, collaborative art and science projects
- Big Data
- Social media
- Digital art tools
- Research culture discourages online engagement and sharing
- Limited interaction between art and science/technology
- Do online science platforms encourage multi-disciplinary work?
- Could online engagement improve scientists’ communication with each other and the public?
Governance & policymaking
Technological advances have changed how governments interact with citizens, and share and use information, but the impact of these changes remains uncertain.
- eGovernment: user-centric and user-driven public services
- More open, collaborative governance
- More co-regulation in design and provision of services
- Connectivity and digital tools
- Digital natives
- Growing middle class endorsing democratic values, media plurality
- Digitisation of personal information
- Public dissatisfaction with government and need for more accountability
- Austerity pressure to reduce government spending
- Lack of interoperability
- Privacy, trust concerns
- Digital literacy gap
- Questionable credibility of new stakeholders
- Will other actors challenge the role of governments and inliiduals as data owners?
- Will political participation change, and how?
- What is the role of digital skills in political participation?
- Will the Internet remain open?
In addition to the trends we detected in our ten themes (above), we developed a set of four scenarios, each with a slightly different character:
- ‘Easy riders’ – after a painful period of economic recovery, the world attains steady growth and progresses towards societal objectives. Helping to feed this growth are digital enhancements and a vibrant set of new, agile companies and business models.
- ‘Stately procession’ – economic growth is maintained, but the development of business and societal ecosystems has slowed to a crawl, ruled by large, powerful and stable organisations that produce a steady stream of modest advances in the most critical areas.
- ‘Riders on the storm’ – the hoped-for recovery has faltered and a succession of crises has seen power returned to contending countries and increasing fragmentation and protectionism and the emergence of new networks based more on shared interest than national identity.
- ‘Riding the waves’ – the emerging economies have been slowly overtaking today’s major powers, and inequality has declined. The economic shocks of 2007–2008 have given way to problems involving rare earths, terrorist states and climate change, strengthening international cooperation.
These scenarios help explore connections among the themes and test the robustness of specific recommendations to critical uncertainties. Robust policy options, which work well across all scenarios, can be implemented early; other options may need to be delayed until more is known, made more flexible, or monitored closely.
Using a foresight approach to explore trends, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as well as future scenarios for ten themes, the research offers a framework for assessing and reflecting on funding priorities. The study proposes guiding principles to help guide funding strategies, including:
- Social, legal and policy implications of technology need to be integrated into technology research programmes
- Inflexibilities in the legal and policy environment create barriers for the uptake of research outputs and must be addressed
- It is important to consider whether traditional innovation support mechanisms are likely to engage key players in particular areas. E.g. Do-It-Yourself innovation is tightly linked to the sharing economy, but the sharing economy is disaggregated and likely to be dominated by actors other than traditional firms. Failing to find ways to engage these actors could result in the loss of their contributions.
Helen Rebecca Schindler
Nicole Van der Meulen