Session 2

Technology Tomorrow


Environment, Technology, and Society

Exercise: Thinking about Technology and Life in the Future


  1. To think about technology in new ways.
  2. To think about how technology might affect our lives in the future.
  3. To acquaint yourself with more members of the class.


  1. Make a list of at least three different technologies which you think will have a major effect on the lives of ordinary people 20 years from now. You should choose technologies that have little or no effect on our lives today. If you must list a technology in use today, limit yourself to one and list it only if its future effect will be dramatically larger than it is today.

    Rank your list in order of most to least effect.

    [ When the instructor tells you, get together with the people in the class who have the same number as you. You'll find your number in the upper right hand corner of this page. Work with these folks for the rest of the exercise. ]

  2. Share your ranked lists from Task 1. Be sure to explain the reasoning behind your ranking.

  3. As a group, decide which of your top-ranked technologies will have the biggest effect on human life 20 years from now. Why?

  4. What is the biggest risk associated with this technology? What is the best way to deal with this risk: education, social standards, economic incentive, political action, ...?

  5. Select a spokesperson. If your group is asked, the spokesperson will present informally the results of your group's work to the class.

At the End

  1. Turn in a write-up showing a list of all your technologies from Task 1 and a summary of your answers and reasoning from Tasks 3-4.

Summary from Exercise

[ Coming soon! Extra credit for a helpful summary of this session. :-) ]



Selecting Presentation Topics

On our way out of class, we selected presentation topics and dates. You can find the schedule of topics on the course activities page. Presentations will be on Thursday of the week's topic, with two exceptions:

Eugene Wallingford ==== ==== September 2, 2003