Zuid-HollandSocial influence of new technology in South Holland
Commissioned by the Province of South Holland, SMV, in collaboration with DRIFT, investigated the social impact of new technologies.
Predictions have been made, for example, by the World Economic Forum, that we are on the eve of a "fourth industrial revolution", which revolves around becoming more connected between information and production processes. If this is the case, it will have social consequences for South Holland and therefore implications for the policy of the province. The research question of this study is therefore: “What is the social (social, economic and spatial) influence of new production and information technologies? And how does that change the way we as a province work on the challenges of the future?"
Conglomerate world: this world, in which more closed systems and platforms are created at a global level, is a world in which technology is less and less dynamic, and social disruptions are more likely to suffer. It is a world that partly resembles the twentieth century world of emerging multinationals and conglomerates, but that also does so in sectors (such as construction) that until now were less susceptible to that global dynamic. Technology (and therefore information flows) are developing in several parallel platforms. This inhibits the speed of technological development. There is strong competition between regions to attract technology clusters from these conglomerates.
Borderless world: the "trend scenario". We show that open, global technological development will have a large, disruptive social influence. Developments go fast and change direction quickly due to their open nature. New skills are being demanded from citizens in their professional and personal lives that will offer some new opportunities but will be difficult for others to acquire. And regional governments will have to work in a different way so that they don't lag behind and become a plaything for global developments. The disruptivity in this scenario is therefore large and continuous: physical clusters come and go and companies work together in ever-changing networks (or "ecosystems") around new technologies.
Island world: a world in which a total trend break with an open, global world takes place: it is precisely at the level of the region (such as the province or even more local) that exchanges take place within closed systems. Mobility of people, goods, but also designs, information and ideas is limited. In this scenario, the society itself has changed disruptively and this actually inhibits technological developments.
Bottom-up world: in this more hybrid world, local cycles, small-scale technological development and more self-sufficiency go together with global platforms for the exchange of information, design and ideas. This world is less competitive than the borderless world, but still characterized by high dynamics and requires an entrepreneurial attitude from citizens, companies and other organizations. Just like in the island world, the emergence of local circular technology has major economic and spatial consequences.
These scenarios outline extremes and explore future futures as possible. One of the scenarios is not expected to come true. But scenarios do help to develop a robust policy and offer stories to engage in a dialogue with stakeholders, such as in this project in sessions around Greenport Oostland-Westland, the Hoeksche Waard, retail in The Hague Center and living in IJsselmonde done.
Based on these scenarios, Studio Marco Vermeulen investigated the spatial consequences of new technologies and outlined world views for the most important clusters in South Holland.
The entire report can be downloaded via this link. The web version is available via the following page: mint-zuid-Holland.nl