The voice on technology - realising potentials of new technologies while taking account of ethical issues
We see a constant stream of new technologies that are fundamentally changing the world and our daily lives. If we are able to exploit these technologies in the right way, this will bring massive improvements in living conditions. However, optimal utilisation of technologies also calls for a debate about needs and limits. Therefore, being the voice on technology involves a responsibility to raise awareness of new technologies and focus attention on how technologies can be developed and implemented ethically.
Both the technological and the organisational changes brought about by Industry 4.0 hold challenges and opportunities for IDA’s members. IDA’s members will be important drivers of technological developments, and they will have the opportunity to organise their working life in new ways. On the other hand, members will face ever-increasing demands to adapt to new challenges.
The need for continuous re-training is increasing as a result of new and disruptive technologies. At the same time, the nature of our workforce will change and become more diverse in an increasingly globalised world. This will also be reflected in the composition of IDA’s members. The need to match the diverse labour force with the labour market will call for a more inclusive and diverse labour market - and this will benefit both employers and employees.
Due to the pressure on our planet’s resources the world is facing a change in how we approach production and consumption. We need to reduce, reuse and recycle materials used in products to ensure that primary - virgin - raw materials are replaced by secondary - recycled - raw materials. A circular economy in which the linear ﬂow from raw material to waste is replaced by a closed-loop system in which resources are consistently recycled. The solution to the climate crisis, for example, is to take a closed-loop approach to carbon turnover. We cannot keep burning coal and oil without thinking about what happens to the CO2.
Traditionally, we have developed products and grown the economy on the basis that old products were replaced by new ones, thus creating a foundation for growth. The circular economy turns this thinking upside down by focussing on products and services that, overall, reduce the draw on resources, because the products are made with fewer resources, can be reused, and can be disassembled and recycled. The cleantech industry develops and produces solutions that take us from the linear to the circular economy.
The rapid shifts in the labour market mean that knowledge becomes obsolete more quickly. Consequently, the need for competence development throughout a person’s working life is increasing, also for highly educated employees. This is especially true in the technical area. IDA must follow this development closely and work at political level to secure competence development opportunities. Moreover, technology offers a range of new possibilities - both for ordinary education and for continuing and further education. Technology presents a potential for learning that transcends the limitations of time and place, and a potential for new forms of teaching that yield greater learning outcomes. For example, this could be learning processes that adapt to individual needs, use of simulations for training activities, and technologies that facilitate better feedback. Furthermore, data can be used to support learning and prevent dropouts, for example:
Affluence of the future - focus on research and education
Three themes will dominate the research-policy agenda, and policies within these three areas must be formulated and further developed:
Maintaining the status of Danish society as one of the wealthiest in the world requires the right competences to compete internationally. This calls for sustained focus on attracting a sufficient number of students to high quality STEM programmes. Interest in science and technology must be stimulated from an early age and must be maintained.
IDA has developed policies for most of the aspects above, but there is an ongoing need to protect interests and promote visibility in order to safeguard a higher number of highly qualified candidates within science and technology.