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:
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.
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