Photo by Rick

Into the Crystal Ball

The next century will bring massive, interconnected changes in climate, human health and population size, natural resource use, social and political geographies, science, and technology. Our ability to predict and manage these changes will be determined by our capacity for technological and social innovation. This brings great challenges, but also opportunities.

This session will explore the mutual shaping of technological innovation and societal change, asking two questions:

How will technological innovation shape the future of society and the international response to global challenges in the 21st century?

How will societal change and global challenges of the 21st century influence the development of future technologies?

In this discussion we are joined first by David Rowan, editor of Wired UK magazine. David will discuss the potential for transformative new technologies in the 21st century. Following David’s talk, Ian Goldin, director of Oxford University’s Oxford Martin School for 21st century technologies, will discuss how global challenges over the coming decades will interact with technological developments. He will focus on how these challenges stimulate innovation, and how, if mismanaged, they can also constrain it.

These talks will be followed by a chaired debate between leading technology scouts, academics and strategists. These experts will discuss the points raised in the keynote speeches, and their personal views on the future of technological innovation.



David Rowan

Editor of WIRED UK


Ian Goldin

Director, Oxford Martin School; UK


joakim  048

Joakim Formo

Senior Researcher at Ericsson; Sweden


Ingrid Schjølberg

Project Director, NTNU; Norway