International Conference: Technology + Society =? Future - Podgorica, Montenegro - May 19-20, 2016


In cooperation with

International Conference

May 19–20, 2016, Podgorica, Montenegro

Shaping the future in order to realize the economic and social goals that enable the establishment of a socially inclusive and environmentally healthy community is the fundamental challenge of human society. Technology has been shown to be the key player in meeting this challenge. Still, there remain many uncertainties related to the transformation of scientific results into technology regarding its positive economic potential, and social, and human outcomes. The rapid pace of technological change at the beginning of the twenty-first century, as well as the inability to understand technology and perceive its effects on society is one of the greatest, very subtle, problems of the XXI century.

There are many who, facing the rapid advances in the XXI century, wonder if it will be possible or, even, desirable to continue along the path of such prodigious change. Technological advances per se do not guarantee above all how they will be used. Tomorrow’s technologies contain, also, a destructive potential to the natural and human environment that will be powerful and challenging to control. A purely technological risk involves the possibility of greater vulnerability to system-wide breakdowns. Certainly, the risks of over- or under regulation and of undercapitalization error of new technological developments are already present. Furthermore, enthusiasm about a new developments often neglects the social, ethical, economic and political constraints. The complement of that is to overlook the secondary, very harmful, effects of new technologies offered for improving the condition of humankind.

The interrelation of technological and cultural changes is vitally relevant in the globalized era in which we live. Associated with a belief in technological determinism, the convergence theory argues that we are becoming more similar to one another—i.e. the world is converging—since we all make use of the same technologies. The role of technological change in promoting the convergence of societies is less certain on the theoretical and empirical grounds. To think of technological change as a universal instrument that dissolves all prior religious, cultural and social patterns is not possible.

The theory of cultural lag is predicated on the belief that habits, thoughts, values, and social arrangements often fail to change at the same speed as technological innovation. The belief that technology acts as an independent force in our life, unaffected by social forces and inertia in change of spirituality is known as “technological determinism”, and if it is true, we have become the servants of technology instead of its master.

No one could argue that technology has not been a key force in shaping the world we live in, and in which we will live, but it is needed to appreciate the fact that technology has not been independent of the society in which it is imbedded. Does social constructivism therefore offer the possibility for more human agency than technological determinism?

The conference aims to open many questions related to the interaction of emerging technologies and society. With this in mind, the prospective participants are invited to contribute to any of the following topics:

  • Technology advances: challenges and threats
  • Technology and values
  • International relations and technology
  • Social construction approach and technological advance
  • Technology control, legal and ethical constraints, sustainability
  • Technology dependence, power and bureaucracy
  • Technology, spirituality and religion
  • Technology, future education and cultural lag
  • Artificial intelligence and future of humans
  • Technology and gender

Technical details

Venue: Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, Podgorica, Montenegro
Date: May 19–20, 2016

Organizer will cover costs of stay (local transfer, lodging, meals and social events) to speakers.

Deadlines:

Abstracts (not more then 300 words): 15 January, 2016
Acceptance notification: 1 February, 2016
Full paper: May 15, 2016

Contact:

Ms Katarina Terzic
Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts
Address: Rista Stijovica 5, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro tel. +382 20 655 459; fax. +382 20 655 451
e-mail: katarinat@canu.ac.mecanu@canu.ac.me