Discussion Paper

Which Tech Does Society Need?

November 2019 | Daniela Blaschke and Florian Ranft

The paper shows how we can remain capable of acting in times of technological change. For this purpose, the authors have chosen a three-dimensional approach, which comprises society as a whole, the economic system as well as the individual.

Main thesis:

We need to innovate our entrepreneurial landscape and our democratic processes of deliberation in order to adequately address and represent social matters through technological change. At the core of this innovation are:

  • Businesses that receive their capacity for action on the basis of their contribution to society – rather than on the mere basis of a license to operate.
  • It will be necessary to establish a license to innovate, more specifically to co-innovate.
  • In order to make co-innovation possible, we need to further develop our economic as well as our socio-political structures and processes and their respective forms of participation for civil society.


The discussion paper is written in German. 


I want to read the Working Paper I want to learn more about #Tech4Society

Technological Change should not be an end in itself

The innovation series #Tech4Society is dedicated to value-based technological change with the goal of social and ecological progress at its core. In close cooperation with and support by an informed set of partners from academia, the public and private sector, and civil society, the aim is to map out a way whereby new technologies address the central challenges of our era, including the climate crisis, social inequalities and increasing political polarisation in our democracies.

Which new technologies are needed for societal progress? 

At the centre of the #Tech4Society deliberation is the fundamental question of which new technologies are needed for societal progress by taking into account the intersection of the economy, society, and the individual.

  • Economy: How can new technologies contribute to a social and ecological responsible economic model?
  • Individual: How can new technologies help secure individual and societal welfare?
  • Society: How can new technologies foster social cohesion?

About the authors

Daniela Blaschke is an Associate for Public Affairs at Volkswagen Group. As a Policy Fellow at Das Progressive Zentrum she works within the programme area of Structural Transformation & Inclusive Growth on the topics of Sustainability, Corporate Activism, and Futures of Mobility. Daniela Blaschke is currently writing her doctoral thesis at the department of philosophy and humanities at Freie Universität Berlin. She studied media and communication science, political science and arts and media administration.

Florian Ranft is Head of Programme Structural Change and focuses on inclusive growth and the future of work. In previous capacities, he was Head of Policy and International at Policy Network, and a former Senior Research Analyst at the Centre for Progressive Policy, both think tanks based in London. Previously, he was a researcher and lecturer in political sociology and international relations at the Universities of Frankfurt and Greifswald.

The #Tech4Society Consortium 

Daniela Blaschke

Florian Ranft

published on

18 December 2019