Large Socio-Technical Systems

21 Oct Large Socio-Technical Systems

National Academy of Technologies of France (NATF)

Large, networked Socio-Technical Systems (or LSTSs), often continental or even global in scale, such as railroad-, air traffic-, electric-, and telecommunications systems, and the internet, have modified life-styles and society. Citizens see them as combining sciences and technologies, offering essential value-for-money services.
They have common characteristics: expected safe and no-break service quality; co-operation of a myriad of component parts, including agents.
Success and vulnerability through complexification (national and European regulations, multiplication for each LSTS of autonomous agents) and inter-dependence (inroads by ICTs, liberalisation) go hand-in-hand.
During the past 15 years, the drafting of new regulatory texts that promote sustainable development of the LSTSs, incorporating technical trends while reconciling local aspirations and nation-wide issues, has become increasingly difficult.
NATF proposes:

1) An objective analysis of the experience from the last 20 years for each LSTS, covering operations, quality, costs, jobs, risk control, governance and regulation, crises situations/incidents and the degrees of interdependence with other LSTSs.
2) Exploring possible (global) trends for the next two decades including sustainable development.
3) Teach LSTSs to young people early on for a better appreciation, including of S&T and ongoing innovations.
These proposals should contribute to better informed decision processes that benefit our children.

Yves BAMBERGER (WP Chair and Draft author) – Scientific counsellor to EDF
CEO – Fellow of the NATF

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