Oct 24th 2016

The Impact of Technology (Coursera)

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In this course you will learn how to use theories and methods to make predictions of the potential impact of new technology – in general, as well as for a specific application. This will prepare you for the changes that we are facing in society, and also help you take advantage of transformations which are driven by technology.

The course takes a broad approach, including social and economic factors. You will study historical examples and learn to recognize recurring patterns and cycles. The curriculum includes general innovation theories, foresight methodology, value chain disruption and strategy.

The general process is as follows. First you to learn how to draw a map of the potential future business landscape. After that, you get to identify interesting future business roles in emerging value networks. Finally, we find a path from where we are today to a desired end state. You will analyze how an industry or market may change if the technology which is available today is fully implemented in a 10 to 20 year perspective. In addition, you will identify barriers to such a development and make estimates regarding the timing.

The course includes a number of assignments to facilitate your learning – some of them compulsory. The largest assignment is about the introduction of self-driving cars (hence the course icon; source and credit to Google).

We all know that the future can’t be fully predicted in detail. However, the methods presented in this course will help you identify potential consequences. In this way, you will get a toolbox for decision making in the areas of technology, investments, career path, research & development or portfolio management.


Week 1: Welcome to The Impact of Technology. Theory and models - practical use.

Week 2: Technology delta and barriers

Week 3: Foresight

Week 4: Value networks

Week 5: Business roles and ideas

Week 6: Strategy