Emerging technologies have always existed. Technology can bring efficiency, address pressing business concerns, and convenience to human society. But, technology can also cause concerns and issues. Unprecedented new problems can also emerge: information overload can people anxious and uneasy; network interaction can occupy the space of intimate relationships; data ownership and privacy become complex and unknown; the elderly and some members of our society are left behind by emerging technology; ecological damage can occur. Thus, careful development, introduction and management of technology is required.
The Technology and Engineering Management Society (TEMS) puts forward the “Technology for Social Good” Special Interest Group (SIG). The goal is to be inclusive and support all social and environmental stakeholders to fully realize the many qualities and problems contributed by emerging technologies. Society needs to work and build consensus and solutions that are reasonable, just, and appropriate. This goal also means shepherding emerging technologies to enhance sound human, social, and environmental development.
Many organizations, even IEEE have adopted these lofty slogans related to Technology for Social Good. No organization will say that technology is not for “Social Good”. We not only have to define what the technologies are, how they are to be used, and their development but also what we mean by the term Social Good. For example, if one group or organization wishes to be a leader in social good; does it mean that other organizations and stakeholders have the same definition? How will diffusion of these technologies and social good occur? Will there be standards or rules, norms developed? How does a society and professional organizations develop feedback mechanisms, to deliver real action and results, not just slogans. How does industry, academia, civil society, and government work together to solve our most pressing social needs especially the role of technology?
There are no simple answers and many questions will arise. This SIG will take a lead in building a community within TEMS to make progress on this critical social need.
There is no better time to promote Technology for Social Good. Emergent technology has influences all areas and fields. We need to investigate the needs for making sure that technology does contribute to social good. We will try to investigate and champion new ideas, philosophies, research, and practice that can contribute to this objective. Helping to identify norms and culture and whether they need to exist homogeneously across cultures, organizations, and regions of the world is required. Technology for Social Good needs to be considered systemically, within and between systems, eco-systems that include social and natural systems.
Part of systems means feedback and continuous improvements. As technologies emerge and social norms and mores evolve, and various crises occur, the role of technology will be investigated in this SIG. Social, environmental and business benefits and costs will be examined.
We are launching the Technology for Social Good SIG if you are reading this, we are asking for your help. Together we can make the goals of this SIG a a reality. We seek voices from a variety of disciplines, cultures, and areas of interest. We realize that without the diversity of ideas and opinions, we may go down the wrong road. Help us build a better world for this and future generations.
1.We will build a research and practice platform with multi-party participation, invite the global business, academic, government, non-governmental institutions to participate. Even the public will be welcome to participate to help us build a more complete consensus; this problem and issue requires this.
2. We will connect and encourage all parties to carry out targeted and interdisciplinary exchanges and cooperation in response to new problems brought about by technological development, seek effective and practical actions, and produce high-quality deliverables in a flexible and creative way to disseminate ideas, research, and programs. We need to think about this generation and the next. Thus, we need to be broad and imaginative in this SIG. Imagination knows no bounds.
- We will build and release the technology for social good movement, unite with all bodies society to face, and especially aid our most vulnerable populations; we have this obligation – noblesse oblige – to give back in gratitude that is from our privilege, but also include all in our effort. After all, we are in the IEEE Society who live by the slogan is Advancing Technology for Humanity…we also want to advance it for the environment and society.
Chunguang Bai is currently a Professor in the School of Management and Economics, at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. She earned her Ph.D. in Management Science from the Dalian University of Technology. Her research interests include sustainable supply chain management, management of technology, and the natural environment. She has dozens of publications with over 40 papers in journals such as OMEGA, the European Journal of Operational Research, the International Journal of Production Economics, the International Journal of Production Research, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, the Journal of Cleaner Production, Information Systems Frontiers, the Annals of Operations Research. She has over 3000 citations based on Google Scholar. She has been recognized as one of the most cited researchers in China across disciplines. Four of her papers are some of highest cited in ten years (ESI index). She served as a visiting scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Temple University in the U.S., and at Concordia University in Canada. Her research has been funded by a number of National Science Foundation of China grants.
Linkedin：Chunguang April Bai