Symposium Session 2:
The Hope of Technology

Friday June 30th, 2pm, Mousonturm

Technology has long been an inseparable twin of hope. Starting with the invention of metals and firearms, a symbiotic relationship between technology and power has been formed. The invention of computers created great hopes, with a vast potential of new possibilities and completely new stakeholders.
It is only 15 years ago since techno-evangelists proposed digital technology will give everyone a chance to voice their own opinions, foster individualistic thinking, and dilute hierarchy and power structures by giving the power to the people. This has not happened.
While technology is producing more and more options, it seems like it provides hope mostly to a selected elite. And the big hopes like preventing the irreversible destruction of our ecosystem, create a sustainable lifestyle, end war, poverty or social injustice are strangely remote and absent. The voices of critical engineers and designers look like more and more difficult to integrate.
Is there any hope? We believe it is.
But how we can start? By understanding the issues. By studying the past. By studying the presence.
And what next? Change the narrative.

Event Type
  • Symposium
  • Friday
    2:00 pm - 6:30 pm


main hall


This session is part of the whole day symposium and can be accessed with all week passes.

Tickets for the single day can be purchased as well.

This session will be followed an evening BARCAMP with dinner.

2 pm – Hopeful cases

Our panelists will give a short introduction into their work. What are the lessons learnt through technology?  What are the problems of using certain technologies?


Information on the talk coming soon …

Peacetech: challenges in technology for peace

After a brief intro and overview of Build Up, including defining the work we do in peacebuilding: technology integration, strategic communications, participatory research, and community arts, and the Build Peace Conference and Fellows program.

Jacob will give an introduction to some of the things we take into account when designing a peacebuilding process, and why we do these things, based on what we’ve learned about how to effectively use technology in peacebuilding. Specifically, we ask questions about participation and social access, the political space, the appropriateness and accessibility of technology and process, and the ethics — both in terms of the mechanics of the peacebuilding intervention and the specific issues of technology. Finally, some aspects of peacebuilding are hyper-contextual. We have to be flexible in our testing and piloting process, because what we know to be true in one context may be quite different in another.

Information on the talk coming soon …

Information on the talk coming soon …

4.40 pm – Exit strategies

Maybe we need not more technology but less. After portraying low- tech solutions the political dimension will be introduced.

The Promise of Low Technology

People in Western societies have lost their faith in God, but now “believe” in technological progress. In the context of sustainability, new technology offers the hope that we can maintain an energy-intensive lifestyle without destroying the natural environment that we depend on.

In this talk, I will show that there’s no need for new technology when it comes to designing a sustainable society. For every high-tech “solution”, there’s a “no tech” or “low-tech” alternative that’s more sustainable, much cheaper, and quickly deployable, not only in rich countries but all over the world. Changing our ways of living does not mean that we have to go back to the middle ages and give up all modern comforts. A downsized, sustainable industrial civilisation is very well possible, and much more fun, too.

End of the Megamachine

What is called „technological progress“ is often presented as a quasi-natural process without any alternatives. However, all technologies are shaped by economic, political, military and ideological power structures. Within the framework of the capitalist “Megamachine” technological development is designed to serve the endless accumulation of capital and a Matrix of delusion. By turning citizens into self-surveilling consumer-infants, large parts of the population are distracted from the most urgent issues of our times, namely the looming ecological collapse, nuclear war and radical social injustice.

DESINGING HOPE in this context means to break the chains of enslavement and delusion and to ask: which type of economic and political  structures and which type of technology do we need to create a just, free and truly sustainable society?

Information on the talk coming soon …

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