Technology Justice

“A world in which everyone has access to technologies that are essential to life, and technology innovation is centred on solving the great challenges the world faces today: ending poverty and providing a sustainable future for all.”

 
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Introducing Technology Justice: A new paradigm for the SDGs

As national governments, development actors, and businesses negotiate, commit to, and begin to implement Sustainable Development Goals for the next 15 years, Practical Action makes the case for...

 
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Technology and the Future of Work

Through a year-long project, Practical Action and WIEGO have explored the technologies, cities, work and systems that influence the disruptive impact of technologies on informal workers. The...

 
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Technology Justice: A call to action

Technology is at the heart of human development. It enables people to produce food, access water and energy, and keep in good health. But access to technology and its benefits are not fairly shared....

 

Agenda for Change

Practical Action believes that the goal of development should be to create sustainable wellbeing for all, and that the way in which technology is accessed, innovated and used is critical to our ability to achieve this. That is why the concept of Technology Justice underpins our entire change agenda. Our influencing is driven by three existing and interconnected injustices:

technology tuin
A Tuin in Nepal increases access to essential
services

Technologies exist with the potential to ensure wellbeing for all people on the planet, but these technologies are not available to those that need them most.

Technological research and innovation is far more likely to be focused on enhancing the lifestyles of wealthy consumers in developed and developing countries, than on meeting the needs of those living in poverty.

The way in which technology is produced and used, often fails to take into account the social and environmental costs on other people and the environment, now and in the future.

Achieving Technology Justice

Overcoming these technology injustices demands a radical shift in how technology is governed. We want innovators, investors, technology users and policy makers, among others, to be guided by the principle of Technology Justice, so that:

  • All people are able to access the technology that they need for wellbeing without compromising the environment or harming other people. 
  • Technology research and innovation efforts are refocused on meeting humanity’s basic needs, increasing wellbeing and protecting the planet.
  • Technology is used in a way that does not harm others, future generations, or the planet.

To do this we will:

    • Push for Technology Justice through convening debates and discussion on international development and technology, including the Forum for Technology Justice
    • Challenge individuals, organisations and governments to consider Technology Justice in their decision-making and technology use. We will seek allies across the world to join our movement for Technology Justice. 
    • Lobby Government and donors to make more public investment, and incentivise private investment, in providing poor people with knowledge services and access to technologies that are fundamental to achieving basic material well-being.

Rethink Retool Reboot book coverRethink, Retool, Reboot

In this powerful new book, Simon Trace (Practical Action CEO 2005-2015) builds on Practical Action’s work to look at technology from both a human development and environmental perspective, and provide an analysis of global relevance. It addresses the issue of access to technology and problems arising from its unregulated use. It advocates changing how innovation systems deliver technology so that it addresses poverty and environmental sustainability, drawing on examples from food, energy, water and health. We urgently need to use Technology Justice to:

  • rethink how we provide access to and govern the use technology today,
  • retool – to change our innovation systems to deliver technology that is socially useful and addresses the key challenges of poverty and environmental sustainability,
  • reboot our relationship with technology - we need Technology Justice to provide a radically different approach to our oversight and governance of technology use

Flagship Projects

Podcasting in Zimbabwe

Podcasting in Zimbabwe

Technology to improve livelihoods
#TechJustice in Action

#TechJustice in Action

Educating for technology justice
Technology and the Future of Work

Technology and the Future
of Work

 

Technology Justice blog posts

  • International Day for Disaster Reduction #IDDR2017
    International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) held every 13th October, celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters. Read more about International Day for Disaster Reduction and our work here: https://practicalaction.org/drr-2017 “The link between climate change and the devastation we are witnessing is clear, and there is a collective responsibility of the international community to stop this suicidal development” Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General on recent visit to the Caribbean. In 2017 IDDR once […]
  • Resilience in the face of increasing risk and uncertainty
    Practical Action’s strategic plan 2017-2020 states “Our vision is for a world where all people have access to the technologies that enable them to meet their basic needs and reach their potential, in a way that safeguards the planet today, and for future generations”. But with development gains being eroded by natural hazards, I sometimes wonder if we are fighting a losing battle? According to the Economist, there are now 400 extreme weather events every year, four times as many […]
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