Technology Impact Cycle Tool

Depending on the technology your assessing, some categories are more important than others. Here you can indicatie how important you think this category is for this technology.
If this category is not applicable for this technology, please select 'Yes'.

(Only the gray shaded text is printed on the Quick Scan canvas)

This technology is designed to solve a problem. That is why it is important to exactly define which problem this technology is going to solve. Can you make a clean definition of the problem? What 'pain' does this technology want to ease? Whose pain? The problem definition will help you to determine and discuss if you are solving the right problem.

(This question is part of the Quick Scan)

In technology there is a tendency to simplify a problem, so that it can be technically solved. Are you sure that this technology is solving the real problem? Are you sure that you are not only addressing symptoms? Is this technology really the right solution for the problem? Did you try to find the deeper issues? Did you consider using the five whys technique (see frameworks below?).
this technology is going to solve a problem but do you know how? Can you explain what characteristics lead to the solution of the problem? Are you sure it is going to work? Why? Are you sure it really works? How do you know? Did you test it? Is it grounded in theory? How are you going to evaluate the outcomes?
Technology often bites back. It has the tendency to create negative effects you would not expect because of unpredictable user behaviour. People are unpredictable and as a result, so is technology. Can you think about possible negative effects? Did you brainstorm to find effects? Are there negative effects that you accept? And can you explain why?
Describe the impact of this innovative technology on daily lives of people, on the short term and on the long term. Discuss how the innovation, in a broader sense than solely the problem at hand, impacts society. Does the technology comply with your personal and/or professional values? Does it create a society you want to live in? A lot of professions have their own set of values like codes of conducts and ethical guidelines. Did you check? Does this technology comply? And how about your own set of values? Does the technology comply with what you think is right?

(Only the gray shaded text is printed on the Improvement Scan canvas)

If you think about the real problem this technology is going to solve. If you think about the ability of this technology to solve the real problem. If you think about possible negative effects and will this technology contribute to a world you want to live in. If you think about all that, what improvements would you make? The answers on questions 1-5 help you to gain insight in the impact of this technology on society. This question (nr 6) is intended to make you think about improvements. What improvements would you (want to) make to this technology, because of the answers to questions 1-5?

(This question is part of the Improvement Scan)

Are you satisfied with the quality of your answers? The depth? The level of insight? Did you have enough knowledge to give good answers? Give an honest assessment of the quality of your answers.

Videos & Clips

Evgeny Morozov on Solutionism
Moralizing Technology (TedxTalk by Peter Paul Verbeek)

Books & Papers

Poel I.vande & Royakkers, L. (2011) Ethics, Technology and Engineering. Wiley-Balckwell
Mensvoort, Koert (2013). A paper on the Pyramid of Technology
Mensvoort, Koert. Next Nature. Book on technology and nature
Morozov, Evgeny. To Save Everything Click Here. Book on solutionism
Tenner, Edward. Why Technology Bites Back (1997)


Five Whys Technique (to find deeper issues)
Sustainable Development Goals by Unesco