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Technological Change and Society


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We are currently witnessing a wave of technological developments – in communications (IoT, big data and blockchain), biology and chemistry (nano technologies), mechanics (robotics), and computer science (AI, edge and quantum computing) – that are profoundly affecting our societies, communities, and economies. In the workplace, autonomous and adaptive technologies open prospects of a new cycle of automation, impacting on the formation of attitudes, the allocation of resources and the exercise of power. Technological change also generates new social, ethical, and legal questions in fields such as individual freedoms and human rights, competition and market structure, consumer protection or public health. And the Covid-19 pandemic is raising more questions than ever about the role of technology in crisis management.

We will investigate these challenges with the aim to assist policy makers. Indeed, policy is the natural arena for interdisciplinary work, generating a common conceptual language and new insights across the fragmented research in the different social sciences. We adopt a global perspective but will focus on the EU’s ability to play a leading role, while preserving its fundamental values.

Three main observations motivate our activities:

  • This technological change affects all spheres of society, from politics and media, to law, entertainment and culture, reshaping in particular the nature of work.

  • Development and deployment of technologies in different social contexts bring both opportunities and risks.

  • New technologies can be governed – through economic, social and legal instruments – to maximise benefits, control risks and observe fundamental values.

Our workshops will engage engineers and computer scientists, academics in social sciences and leaders from industry, government and civil society to discuss which current issues would benefit most from interdisciplinary investigation.


Group Members

Faculty members


Hans Micklitz
Hans-Wolfgang Micklitz
(University of Helsinki, former EUI LAW professor)



BATTU Balaraju
Balaraju Battu

CONG Wanshu
Wanshu Cong

Paul Dermine
Arthur Dolgopolov

DUCCI Francesco
Francesco Ducci 

Martina Ferracane 

Igor Nikolic 
(RSCAS fellow)

SUN Junze
Junze Sun

Giacomo Tagiuri







Cluster activities 2020

14 December 2020

 Workshop on "Future technologies & Superintelligence"


16 November 2020
via Zoom

Online conference "The New Competition Tool and the Digital Services Act: EU Competition Policy at a Crossroads"

The conference aims to gather academics, practitioners, officials from the EU institutions (i.e. Commission, Parliament and Council), National Competition Authorities, as well as industry representatives to discuss the pros and cons of the New Competition Tool (NCT) and the Digital Services Act (DSA). The event is timely since the European Commission is expected to publish a legislative proposal concerning the NCT and the DSA by the end of 2020. The legislative proposal will later be debated within the Council and the European Parliament in the course of 2021.

21 May 2020, 6 pm
via Zoom

Preliminary brainstorming meeting with EUI members

Page last updated on 06 November 2020