SPT 2021 Panel Abstract - Cultures of Technology - Imaginaries of Innovating Together

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Social, economic, and private life have become deliberately interwoven as the way forward to the future advancement and survival of humankind. For the last five decades, movements that have called for the democratization of technology and innovation have led to the development of concepts, theories, and practical approaches to better integrate industry, governments, academia, and society. Whether it is to develop novel technoscientific solutions or to address wicked societal problems, different forms of participatory approaches such as public engagement, co-creation/co-design, Responsible Research and Innovation, have been promoted by corporations, public policymakers, and citizens in Europe and around the world.
Within each participatory approach and endeavor, imaginaries of desirable practices and futures for firms, citizens, academia, and governments are implicitly or explicitly articulated, and subsequently reified. Perhaps they demand a certain kind of interaction, or lead with specific norms, values, and vision of “good” and “fair” progress in innovation. Regardless, visions can be a powerful force behind the formation of new ways to order social, economic, and political life and culture. To explore how these visions emerged and their consequences, this panel gathers three contributions that conceptually and empirically unearth what these visions are, and what expectations and roles emerge through the interweaving of innovation and society.
In the empirical study, “Innovation imaginaries and the future of infrastructure maintenance”, Cuevas-Garcia, Pepponi, and Pfotoenhauer explore how new ecosystems are developed along aside the creation of technologies in sewage maintenance robots. Through their analysis, the authors emphasize how new technologies also bring forth infrastructures and puts the spotlight on the implications for stakeholders. In “Innovation Union?”, Papageorgiou and Pfotenhauer examine how the European Institute for Innovation and Technology and its network of “Knowledge and Innovation Communities” offer a window into the evolving vision of “European” innovation in the European Union. Their research approach emphasizes looking the institutional set-up, discourse, and practices of the organization come together to stabilize a European vision of innovation. The final contribution, “The Citizen-Subject Imaginary” identifies how the imaginary of the citizen-subject emerges from a living lab project in social lighting. In this research, Tsui shows through their involvement in a living lab project, the residents inhabited a dual role: that of a citizen with a responsibility towards participating in the development of their city, and that of a subject who was simultaneously observed in an experiment.
Original languageEnglish
TypePanel Abstract
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

SPT 2021 - Technological Imaginaries
The Society for Philosophy and Technology Conference – June 28-30 2021


  • Imaginary
  • technology
  • Co-creation


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