This will be a multi-year program implemented in three integrated phases:
First Year: Understand Why societies are Resistant to Technological Change
Why do certain technologies prompt more social rejection than others? What factors and circumstances lead to this situation? Is it just a matter of job destruction and displacement of traditional sectors, or is there something else?
This phase will study the long history of resistance to emerging technology and the latest publications on this matter from different disciplines to create a comprehensive overview of all the factors that may lead to resistance to technological change within societies. Among other things, it will assess the role played by:
Second Year: Understand the interaction between societal resistance, political interests and the regulatory frameworks
This phase will focus on the complex relationship between law and innovation. Every technological adoption is the result of a process of negotiation between the private sector, states, and society. If a new technology does not fit the economic interests or values of a given social group, then their members will be likely to press politicians and regulators to legislate against its adoption (Buhl, 1974; Teece, 1986; Olsen and Engen, 2007). In response, tech companies will use their influence to press regulators and try to overcome the resisting communities. Although scholars and jurists have provided some insights into how this process unfolds, there is still much that we ignore. Our project will study the interaction between the different stakeholders of change (tech companies, traditional displaced sectors, citizenship, CoPs, and governments officials) and regulatory resistance.
Third Year: Develop Strategies to overcome societal Resistance to change
Understanding the main factors that lead people to object to change will give us the opportunity to design a strategy to address these factors, leverage resistance and ensure a successful technological transition for society. This line of research will assess the role played by public institutions and disruptive companies and help them to develop new strategies to overcome societal resistance to change. Private strategies are of direct value to disruptive companies but so are those that pertain to the public sector. Enabling effective public sector policymaking in this space will make technological change more sustainable and of greater benefit for a greater number of people.