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  • 1.
    Assefa, Getachew
    et al.
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
    Frostell, Björn
    KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Ecology.
    Social sustainability and social acceptance in technology assessment: a case study on energy technologies2007In: Technology in society, ISSN 0160-791X, E-ISSN 1879-3274, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 63-78Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses an approach for assessing indicators for the social sustainability of technical systems developed within a Swedish technology assessment tool called ORWARE. Social sustainability is approached from the perspective of one of its ingredients, namely social acceptance. The research takes the form of a case study on energy technologies conducted in the municipality of Kil in west central Sweden. Three indicators—knowledge, perception, and fear associated with four chains of energy technologies—are assessed using a questionnaire.

    The questionnaire results indicate that respondents have such a low level of information and knowledge about new energy technologies that they are unable to discriminately rank them. This was found to hamper participation in discussions and decision making about technologies for which public funds would be spent.

    The importance of assessing social indicators by engaging members of society is discussed, and an assessment approach is developed. The need to present results together with ecological and economic indicators is emphasised in order to avoid suboptimization.

  • 2. Carlsen, H.
    et al.
    Dreborg, K.H.
    Godman, Marion
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
    Hansson, Sven Ove
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Johansson, Linda
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Wikman-Svahn, P.
    Assessing socially disruptive technological change2010In: Technology in society, ISSN 0160-791X, E-ISSN 1879-3274, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 209-218Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The co-evolution of society and potentially disruptive technologies makes decision guidance on such technologies difficult. Four basic principles are proposed for such decision guidance. None of the currently available methods satisfies these principles, but some of them contain useful methodological elements that should be integrated in a more satisfactory methodology. The outlines of such a methodology, multiple expertise interaction, are proposed. It combines elements from several previous methodologies, including (1) interdisciplinary groups of experts that assess the potential internal development of a particular technology; (2) external scenarios describing how the surrounding world can develop in ways that are relevant for the technology in question; and (3) a participatory process of convergence seminars, which is tailored to ensure that several alternative future developments are taken seriously into account. In particular, we suggest further development of a bottom-up scenario methodology to capture the co-evolutionary character of socio-technical development paths.

  • 3.
    Hansson, Sven Ove
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    A note on social engineering and the public perception of technology2006In: Technology in society, ISSN 0160-791X, E-ISSN 1879-3274, Vol. 28, p. 389-392Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    "Social engineering" has lost its positive connotations and is now mostly used pejoratively. It is in general associated with paternalism and with simplistic application of theory, but neither of these is characteristic of engineering. It is therefore recommended that the unreflected pejorative use of the term should be discontinued. Unmotivated interference in other people's lives should be criticized for what it is, without perpetuating misunderstandings about the nature of engineering.

  • 4.
    Hansson, Sven Ove
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Technology and the notion of sustainability2010In: Technology in society, ISSN 0160-791X, E-ISSN 1879-3274, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 274-279Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Some of the difficulties connected with the concept of sustainable development can be resolved if we distinguish between sustainability of different types of assets, in particular between those that pertain to technological uses and those that do not. A weak concept of sustainability is appropriate for the former and a strong concept for the latter. Furthermore, time discounting is appropriate (in the relatively short run) for the former but not for the latter. It is concluded that instead of choosing between weak and strong sustainability, the two notions should be included in the same analysis, since they are needed to account for different kinds of assets.

  • 5. Mulder, K.
    et al.
    Kaijser, Arne
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
    The dynamics of technological systems integration: Water management, electricity supply, railroads and industrialization at the Göta Älv2014In: Technology in society, ISSN 0160-791X, E-ISSN 1879-3274, Vol. 39, p. 88-99Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Today, technological innovation is often called upon to deliver solutions to the sustainable development challenges that the world faces. The integration of different technological systems is promoted as a main option for that goal. By integrating systems, waste from one system can be used as feedstock for another system, equipment can be used more efficiently by economies of scale, and/or the service that can be provided to customers, can increase.Integration of technological systems is not just a technological challenge. Systems integration creates new social interdependencies which imply that the previously unrelated systems lose part of their autonomy. Autonomy of a system is a valuable asset that allows a system some flexibility when it is confronted with changing conditions. Integration implies that institutional frameworks have to be created to balance the interests of previously unrelated actors. Moreover, the technological as well as the social complexity of an integrating system increases, which makes it harder to manage.This paper studies the process of systems integration and its related process of creating new institutional frameworks by analyzing the introduction of large scale hydropower in Western Sweden and developments that were triggered in this complex systems integration. In 1910, the first large scale hydropower station was opened in the Göta Älv river at Trollhättan. The hydropower station was close to the Gothenburg-Stockholm railway line, which was planned to be electrified. The seasonal excess of electricity was sold at a low price. This attracted industries that depended on cheap electricity, and Trollhättan became a center for metallurgical and electrochemical industry.The hydropower plant owners aimed at completely regulating the river in order to optimize power production. However, this implied that the interests of riparians, agriculture, river transport and fisheries would become subordinate to power production. Creating an institutional framework for this integration lasted 21 years.This historical analysis identifies three main elements which enabled (or impeded) systems integration. These were: spatial conditions that provided options for integration, expected efficiency gains in relation to the anticipated loss of autonomy for the integrating systems, social processes among the actors involved. Different degrees as well as different types of systems integration were discerned and the paper develops a typology of systems integration processes.

  • 6.
    Räsänen, Minna
    et al.
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Human - Computer Interaction, MDI. School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
    Moberg, Ņsa
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies. School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
    Picha, Malin
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Graphic Arts, Media. School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
    Borggren, Clara
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Environmental Strategies. School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Centres, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre for Sustainable Communications, CESC.
    Meeting at a distance: Experiences of media companies in Sweden2010In: Technology in society, ISSN 0160-791X, E-ISSN 1879-3274, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 264-273Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Solutions based on information and communication technology (ICT) have been put forward as a possible means to decrease greenhouse gases, e.g. through replacing travel. However, their success depends on how the ICT solutions are implemented and put into practice. This study sought to identify and discuss conditions for business meetings at a distance. Practices that facilitate and those that prevent meeting at a distance were examined in four Swedish media companies. Time and financial savings were identified as the main forces driving companies and individuals to consider meeting at a distance. Appropriate technology, infrastructure and confidence in using and handling the equipment were also necessary for meeting at a distance. Environmental considerations within the companies appeared to be a side-effect rather than a direct driver. Understanding such conditions is crucial in striving for change. It is suggested that companies consider the everyday practices their employees are engaged in and reflect on the broader context within which these practices take place.

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