Existence, limits and appreciation for R&D in a 'fuzzy' world

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract

As the Earth's population grows towards 9 billion by 2050 there will be an increasing need for an appreciation of existence andits limits to guide R&D and its management: the basis of this claim forms the core of the paper. These phenomena will become more obvious in the way science, technology and engineering converge as humanity attempts to limit its impact on the Earth while maintaining a distribution of ays of living that endeavour to get rights and privileges into a balance across all of humanity. In these matters the distribution of the worlds' human population, the means of supplying its basic needs and the integrative skills needed to do so will be important until past 2050. In R&D management many paradoxes will be involved as disciplines at scales ranging from atomic to cosmological impose needs for the melioration of interdependent situations rather than the traditional silos typifying problem solving. Amelioration of situations attempts to constrain the ever changing impact of life on the Earth's ecological system. S&T is likely to become ever more uncertain and paradoxical as governance and ELSI intrude deeply and uncertainly, making the once pristine world of S&T decidedly fuzzy. Consequently, R&D management will become messier while managers learn to deal with fuzziness and ignorance rather than the pseudo certainties o knowledge. For engineers used to dealing with unknown unknowns (colloquially unk unks) these matters are foreboding but not forbidden: R&D managers are likely to need a new mind set. The outcome, in the developed countries, may not create the long sought revival in employment, due to the ever increasing presence of highly intelligent, low entropy processes, though it may be accompanied by a vibrant society based on ecological economics.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2013
EventSkills for Future Innovation – Implications for R&D Management. - University of Manchester
Event duration: 25 Jun 201328 Jun 2013

Conference

ConferenceSkills for Future Innovation – Implications for R&D Management.
CityUniversity of Manchester
Period25/06/1328/06/13