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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: interviews » Catastrophe related to technology

version: 4 / updated: 2011-11-18
id: #1887 / version id: #1887
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Ivan Montenegro Perini
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Last changed by: Ivan Montenegro Perini
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Source of inspiration


The source of the Wild Card is

Karl Heinz LEITNER, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), interviewed by MIoIR


(max. 9 words)

Catastrophe related to technology


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
e.g. a nuclear power plant meltdown. Something could happen, because people and societies always think they can control technology. After such a catastrophe there will be some kind of rethink about basic technology and progress. In Europe, there is a strong belief in making progress, and that researchers and technicians can solve all the problems. If a major catastrophe were to happen, probably people would rethink their attitude and there would be scepticism about technological progress. There will always be questions in society about research and technological progress and funding, but after a catastrophe people would question research and progress and how it is organized.


collapse, technology, research and development, scepticism about technology


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Type of event

Unplanned consequence of events/trends/situations (e.g. financial crisis, accidental breakthrough)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
A contemporary equivalent of past Wild Cards
(e.g. earthquake, tsunami or, similar to the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the USA breaks up into independent countries sometime between 2025-2050, for example)




please specify:
please select
Level 4: important for the whole world

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
institutional filters (rules, laws, regulations)
political filters (party or ideological interests)
social filters (class, status, education level)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

Very uncertain

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Collapse of a system

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Coexistence and conflicts
Education dynamics
Ethics and abuse of S&T
Innovation dynamics
Techno-security, hazard & risk

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
ICT - Information & communication technologies
Nanosciences, nanotech, materials & new prod. tech.
Social Sciences and Humanities

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Strengthening research institutions and universities
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Addressing cohesion through a localised articulation between supply and demand
(e.g. making research institutions more engaged with their own context and local users; reinforcing knowledge flows into and out of regions; etc.
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.