DOI link for Outlook
The Anthropocene, the age in which humankind meets planetary boundaries, calls into question prevailing social practices and ways of knowing, including practices of how we produce science and technology (Maggs & Robinson, 2016). Transforming social practices such that they match planetary limits will require new ways of co-creating knowledge, social practices and technologies (Wiek & Lang, 2015; Schneidewind et al., 2016; Grunwald, 2016), as well as re-inventing how we conceive of citizenship at the local, national and planetary scales (Giddens, 2009). The transformation of society and the associated learning process can be conceived as complex process that brings along changes across different levels of social organisation, including in the personal, cultural, organisational, institutional and systemic spheres (O’Brien & Sygna, 2013). Transformation can thus be considered a social process with a Cognitive dimension that opens up new human potential for reconsideration of how we relate to ourselves, others and our environment. In such a process technologies can be conceived as an expression of prevailing values and worldviews. The recognition of how prevailing values can serve as ordering principles for attributing attention and resources at different levels of social organization (individual lifestyle decisions to whole nations or regions) should be an integral part of research and technological design and development. The networked society of the twenty-first century offers as yet untapped processes for co-design and co-creation that aim to better understand and express shared values in pluralist societies. Such processes for co-creation of new knowledge and technologies in processes of collaborative inquiry and design assume not only profound changes in how science may be practiced (see also Chapter 18 by Ravetz), but also a new notion of competent citizens.