Stakeholder participation and discourse analysis to identify societal perceptions of technologies
Background and objectives
In many cases, it has proved politically prudent and, in the medium to long term, technically and objectively sensible to involve relevant stakeholders in information and decision-making processes at an early stage in the case of open but also controversial issues. In this way, taking into account the various perspectives, better adapted societal design goals and solutions can be developed, which are better legitimised in the further course, meet with greater acceptance and in some cases even mobilise participation in implementation measures. Against this background, TAB's consortium partner IZT has been continuously designing stakeholder participation processes since 2014, which are adapted to the specific starting situation in terms of the level of participation and the participation methods used.
A central component of stakeholder participation is the establishment of the Stakeholder Panel TA, which serves the exchange between political decision-makers and social actors by initiating dialogue processes on the future needs of scientific and technological developments. In this way, the views of different social groups are brought into the work of the Office of Technology Assessment at the German Bundestag (TAB).
With the help of the Stakeholder Panel TA, social conflicts and potentials in the context of the development and dissemination of technologies are to be recognized at an early stage and design options identified. The aim is to find out the assessments and opinions on technological developments and their effects - e.g. from the perspective of a company, association, politician or scientist.
Procedure and results
The Stakeholder Panel TA focuses on two to three online surveys per year on socially relevant topics that are dealt with within the framework of TAB projects.
The online surveys of the Stakeholder Panel TA are supplemented by selected dialogue elements in order to obtain as comprehensive a picture as possible of the positions, interests, assessments and questions of the stakeholders. The planned formats include, for example, microblogging services such as Twitter or - for a particularly committed group of people - discussion events and creative workshops.
To date, key results of the Stakeholder Panel TA have been incorporated into the final reports of the studies "Expansion of electricity grids in the context of the energy transition", "New electronic media and the potential dangers of excessive use", "Online citizen participation in parliamentary work" and "Health apps". In addition, since 2018, results on societal perceptions, evaluations and views on issues of scientific and technological progress from the empirical surveys of societal stakeholders have been presented in the TAB-Sensor publication series created for this purpose.
News from the project work
Currently, the (online) surveys conducted after stakeholder workshops within the framework of the project "Algorithms in digital media and their influence on opinion formation" are being processed for the final report. In addition, surveys are being conducted as part of the project "Petitions to the German Bundestag - Awareness and Use".
Further information on topics and dialogues as well as publications can also be found on the Stakeholder Panel TA website.
Oertel, B.; Kahlisch, C.; Evers-Wölk, M.; Henseling, C.; Nolte, R.; Odenbach, J.; Sonk, M.
2018. Büro für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung beim Deutschen Bundestag (TAB). doi:10.5445/IR/1000133425
Evers-Wölk, M.; Sonk, M.; Henseling, C.; Kahlisch, C.; Nolte, R.; Oertel, B.; Neuffer, S.
2017. Büro für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung beim Deutschen Bundestag (TAB). doi:10.5445/IR/1000133420
Henseling, C.; Evers-Wölk, M.; Oertel, B.; Opielka, M.; Kahlisch, C.; Koestner, J. O.
2016. Büro für Technikfolgen-Abschätzung beim Deutschen Bundestag (TAB). doi:10.5445/IR/1000133416