Skip to main content

Web Content Display Web Content Display

Web Content Display Web Content Display


Sociotechnical Imaginaries - how to catch future?

Our model and research method are applicable across politcal, cultral and industrial contexts. It allows businesses and policy makers to explore the specific perceptions shared by people relating to a given technology or set of technologies. With the model developed, companies or institutions can design better strategies for communicating innovations to the public and diagnose the perceived risks and opportunities of implementing a product or technology. 


Our study offers a procedure for analysing sociotechnical imaginaries, taking into account a broad context including, inter alia, analysis of regulatory documents, research funding directions, as well as colloquial and expert perceptions associated with a given technology in specific social groups targeted by the implemented product. In practice, companies offering new technologies using our Innovative Model will be able to theoretically model its reception in a given society before its implementation. Our model will allow entrepreneurs to objectively estimate the chances of success of the implementation of new technologies in given social groups and to identify social uncertainties and concerns. Consequently, companies will be able to address their product to a specific audience precisely and adjust the narrative, or marketing strategy, to prevent social unrest and build a positive perception of their product. 

Drawing on STS, sociology, narrative science, discourse analysis and public policy studies, we proposed a research procedure and tools for its implementation in the field of the energy transition. We tested this procedure by studying the SI of the energy transition in Poland and the dimension of shaping new imaginaries in the area of educational digital games (international context). Currently, the model and adapted tools are being tested concerning energy transition in China and Taiwan. Analysis in the area of vaccine research is planned (so far, the material has been collected in 7 countries). 


Our model defines criteria for selecting and collecting research material and guidelines for its analysis. The proposed method makes it possible to reconstruct socially shared visions and their valuation (positive and negative) related to the development of specific technologies. The formation of such imaginaries is long-lasting and culturally rooted. In societies, there are dominant imaginaries (influencing the operation of institutions) and alternative imaginaries - shared by specific groups of people).

Taking such a broad context into account in our model allows us to theoretically model Sociotechcnial Imaginaries and predict the reception of new technologies in given groups or societies, which is a valuable resource for their design and implementation. Consequently, it allows: us to better match them to societal needs, to shape their description in a way that is comprehensible to audiences and decision-makers, addressing perceived (but not always realised) risks and concerns, but also hopes and opportunities. As such, the proposed procedure applies to all areas of technological development, including biomedical and space or IT technologies.