Empowerment Instead of Fear: Technology and Society

The Aspen Institute Central Europe – in cooperation with the Krynica Economic Forum – held a special panel devoted to the issue of Technology and Society. The underlying question of the panel was:

Can we somehow avoid – or minimize – the fear of the technology driven future and find ways to just empowering widest possible segments of societies?

During the session, the panelists engaged in a very energetic discussion, among others about the following questions: Does inability to adapt to technological changes contribute to new nationalism? How to translate a fear from future into empowering societies and making them more resilient and competitive? Does technology bring more income inequality as it widens a gap on labor market between high- and low-skill jobs? Are there any specific features how Central European societies react to globalization/technology challenges based on their heritage of 19th century nationalism and 20th century communism?

The panel was composed of leading experts and intellectuals in their respective fields: Martin Ehl (Chief International Editor, Hospodarske Noviny – Czech Republic), Borbala Czako (President, Hungarian Business Leaders Forum), Leszek Jazdzewski (Editor-in-Chief, Liberte! – Poland), Petr Ocko (Chairman, Technology Agency of the Czech Republic – Czech Republic), Marta Poslad (Head of Public Policy CEE, Google – Poland), Mathias Rauch (Head of the Brussels office, Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research – Germany) and moderated by Michal Kořan (Deputy Executive Director, Aspen Institute Central Europe).

While, quite naturally, no ultimate solutions were arrived at, the panelists and the audience agreed that it is of an ultimate importance to explore these questions in a multi-perspectival and multi-disciplinary setting in order to raise a broader awareness and prepare the Central European societies for impact the tech-driven future might bring. During the panel, the latest issue of the Aspen Review, titled The Way We Will Work was distributed.



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