Summary of Technology as an Enabler of Sustainable Well-Being in the Modern Society

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Technological development and sociocultural changes are intertwined, but policies and regulations can limit the usefulness of new technologies. In this well-structured and comprehensive discussion, serial entrepreneur and futurist Risto Linturi suggests that a society’s inability to adapt quickly can turn technology’s opportunities into threats. getAbstract recommends this article to anyone interested in how technology affects society, and vice versa.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Which technological areas are developing rapidly,
  • What principles will help achieve sustainable societal well-being and
  • How new technologies affect these principles.

About the Author

Risto Linturi is a serial entrepeneur, a futurist and the chairman of the Finnish consulting company Sovelto.  



Emerging technologies offer opportunities that can transform into threats if society doesn’t adapt and help individuals keep up. Ten rapidly developing, technological areas create opportunities (and risks) for society: 1) “Virtualization and digitization” allow people to work from anywhere, but require significant structural changes; 2) “artificial intelligence” will lead to more efficient processes as well as job losses; 3) the “instrumentation of everything” will enable people to analyze food, DNA, and more with laboratory accuracy, but will lead to privacy issues; 4) “robotized transport and logistics” will make public transport more widely available; 5) “robotized production and services” will allow manufacturers to produce personalized items near the customer; 6) “nanomaterials” will lead to entirely new products; 7) “biotechnology and pharmacology” will allow people to grow their own food and live longer; 8) cheaper “energy technology” may make some traditional industries disappear; 9) “digital crowd platforms” will allow people to bypass traditional economic structures and could create societal and economic havoc; and 10) the “globalization of information and communications technology structures” will lead to a new wave of development and Internet-enabled devices. Technology affects the “six principles” that help achieve “sustainable societal well-being”:

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