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The Impact of Technology

In this course you will learn how to use theories and methods to make predictions of the potential impact of new technology – in general, as well as for a specific application. This will prepare you for the changes that we are facing in society, and also help you take advantage of transformations which are driven by technology.

The course takes a broad approach, including social and economic factors. You will study historical examples and learn to recognize recurring patterns and cycles. The curriculum includes general innovation theories, foresight methodology, value chain disruption and strategy.

The general process is as follows. First you to learn how to draw a map of the potential future business landscape. After that, you get to identify interesting future business roles in emerging value networks. Finally, we find a path from where we are today to a desired end state. You will analyze how an industry or market may change if the technology which is available today is fully implemented in a 10 to 20 year perspective. In addition, you will identify barriers to such a development and make estimates regarding the timing.

The course includes a number of assignments to facilitate your learning – some of them compulsory. The largest assignment is about the introduction of self-driving cars.

We all know that the future can’t be fully predicted in detail. However, the methods presented in this course will help you identify potential consequences. In this way, you will get a toolbox for decision making in the areas of technology, investments, career path, research & development or portfolio management.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, the learner is expected to be able to:

Course structure

Welcome to The Impact of Technology

Welcome to the course! We start with a short introduction module where you will get a general introduction, a description of the overall process we will follow, a historical example and an assignment. You will after this module have a good general overview of the course and knowledge about what you will learn and what to expect. 

Theory and models - practical use

Relevant theories will help us in estimating the impact of technology. In this module three key innovation theories are included and by the end a more broad perspective is introduced.

Technology delta and barriers

When estimating the potential impact of a technology, it is essential to understand the technology delta: How much better is the new technology and is this delta significant enough to overcome the barriers to implementation and realise its full potential? We will in this module look at both the technology delta and the barriers to implementation. Supporting this analysis, the Gartner hype cycle, megatrends and industry transformation are given special attention.


Foresight in general, and backcasting in particular, is included in this module. After a general overview this module is built around one interactive sequential backcasting case.

Value networks

Technologies with a significant impact put existing value networks out of balance. New value networks are emerging around new technologies.

This module covers value networks basics and let's you practice how to predict potential new value network roles and structures.

Business roles and ideas

Roles within value networks are further studied in this module. The role, its relationships and dependencies are analyzed. You will learn how to assess, chose and develop a, for you, interesting value network role.


It's not enough to identify potential roles, we also need to know how to get from where we are today to a desired position. The impact of a technology depends on how it is implemented. This module gives you some basic insights regarding strategy and what to consider regarding its formulation and implementation.

Finale - The Impact of Technology

We have come to the end of the course. This video and the exam are the final elements included.

  • Teacher:
    Dr. Martin Vendel
    Dr. Martin Vendel
  • Partner:
    GasQual AB
  • University:
    Royal Institute of Technology
    Royal Institute of Technology

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