What impact do technological innovations have on the livability, prosperity and attractiveness of cities? Is the economy steering technological progress, or is it the other way around? A discussion with economist prof.dr. Coen Teulings, high-tech systems scientist prof.dr.ir. Maarten Steinbuch and urban economist dr. Ioulia Ossokina.
Technology and economy are interrelated. The current Corona crisis clearly shows this; virtual communication techniques prevent further economic decline, and introduction of a vaccine would enable a quicker recovery of the economy. Vice versa, the economic demand for these technologies fosters their development. But how does the economy affect the engineering world, and to what extent should engineers care about economics?
Economics offers tools to analyze the role of new Research & Development (R&D) in the future of our societies. New technologies tend to be invented at a small number of hot spots around the world. Usually these are places with a top-notch (technical) university, like Brainport Eindhoven. R&D offers these cities great opportunities and creates high end jobs, but it also leads to societal challenges. For instance, computerization boosted economic growth, but it also resulted in job losses by white color middle-educated employees whose tasks became obsolete. Alternatively, highways connected cities and gave them a productivity boost. At the same time highways enabled richer residents to move to suburbs, draining out the downtowns. Upcoming technologies – self-driving cars, virtual communication tools, disease prevention – will likely change our behavior and lead to societal challenges as well.
Economic research can give us insights in the possible impact of new technologies on society. The question is how to use these insights: should we try to accommodate the issues that arise, such as unemployment or the draining out of inner cities, or should we steer technological development in a direction that avoids societal losses? We discuss these issues with renowned economist prof.dr. Coen Teulings (distinguished professor Utrecht University & University of Cambridge, UK) and renowned technology expert prof.dr.ir. Maarten Steinbuch (distinguished university professor in Systems and Control at TU/e and serial tech entrepreneur). Dr. Ioulia Ossokina (assistant professor of housing research and modelling at TU/e) will provide real life examples on the interplay between economy and technology in cities.
This program is organized in collaboration with Martijn Klabbers (Mathematics and Computer Science TU/e) and Ioulia Ossokina (Built Environment TU/e).
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