International Conference: Technology + Society =? Future

In cooperation with

International Conference

May 19–20, 2016, Podgorica, Montenegro

Shaping the future in order to realize the economic and social goals that enable the establishment of a socially inclusive and environmentally healthy community is the fundamental challenge of human society. Technology has been shown to be the key player in meeting this challenge. Still, there remain many uncertainties related to the transformation of scientific results into technology regarding its positive economic potential, and social, and human outcomes. The rapid pace of technological change at the beginning of the twenty-first century, as well as the inability to understand technology and perceive its effects on society is one of the greatest, very subtle, problems of the XXI century.

There are many who, facing the rapid advances in the XXI century, wonder if it will be possible or, even, desirable to continue along the path of such prodigious change. Technological advances per se do not guarantee above all how they will be used. Tomorrow’s technologies contain, also, a destructive potential to the natural and human environment that will be powerful and challenging to control. A purely technological risk involves the possibility of greater vulnerability to system-wide breakdowns. Certainly, the risks of over- or under regulation and of undercapitalization error of new technological developments are already present. Furthermore, enthusiasm about a new developments often neglects the social, ethical, economic and political constraints. The complement of that is to overlook the secondary, very harmful, effects of new technologies offered for improving the condition of humankind.

The interrelation of technological and cultural changes is vitally relevant in the globalized era in which we live. Associated with a belief in technological determinism, the convergence theory argues that we are becoming more similar to one another—i.e. the world is converging—since we all make use of the same technologies. The role of technological change in promoting the convergence of societies is less certain on the theoretical and empirical grounds. To think of technological change as a universal instrument that dissolves all prior religious, cultural and social patterns is not possible.

The theory of cultural lag is predicated on the belief that habits, thoughts, values, and social arrangements often fail to change at the same speed as technological innovation. The belief that technology acts as an independent force in our life, unaffected by social forces and inertia in change of spirituality is known as “technological determinism”, and if it is true, we have become the servants of technology instead of its master.
No one could argue that technology has not been a key force in shaping the world we live in, and in which we will live, but it is needed to appreciate the fact that technology has not been independent of the society in which it is imbedded. Does social constructivism therefore offer the possibility for more human agency than technological determinism?

The conference opened many questions related to the interaction of emerging technologies and society. With this in mind, the prospective participants were invited to contribute to any of the following topics:

  • Technology advances: challenges and threats
  • Technology and values
  • International relations and technology
  • Social construction approach and technological advance
  • Technology control, legal and ethical constraints, sustainability
  • Technology dependence, power and bureaucracy
  • Technology, spirituality and religion
  • Technology, future education and cultural lag
  • Artificial intelligence and future of humans
  • Technology and gender

Technical details

Venue: Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, Podgorica, Montenegro
Date: May 19–20, 2016
Ms Katarina Terzic
Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts
Address: Rista Stijovica 5, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro tel. +382 20 655 459; fax. +382 20 655 451

18 May, Wednesday

Arrival of participants, organized transfer to Hotel City, Crnogorskih serdara 5, Podgorica

19.30 – 20.30 Welcome Cocktail (Hotel City)

19 May, Thursday

9.00 – 9.30 Registration (Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, Rista Stijovića 5, Podgorica)

9.30 – 10.45 Opening session (Welcome addresses)

  • Academician Momir Đurović, President, Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts (CANU)
  • Prof. Heitor Gurgulino de Souza, President, World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS)
  • Prof. Graham Caie, European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA); President, Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Prof. Felix Unger, President, European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA)
  • Dr Gilbert Fayl, President, The Global Round Table (GRT)
  • Prof. Gordon McBean, President, International Council for Science (ICSU)
  • Mathieu Denis, Executive director, International Social Science Council, (ISSC)

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee break

11.00 – 12.15 Session I (chair: Academician Ivo Šlaus, Prof. Ullica Segerstrale)

  • Gordon McBean, Professor Emeritus, Western University, Canada; President of ICSU,[*]
  • Miroslav Vesković, International, Interinstitutional and Stakeholder Relations Unit, Joint Research Center, European Commission, Reinventing together society, economy and science
  • Tadej Bajd, President, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU), Science and Technology Issues through the Development of Robotics
  • Loucas Christophorou, Academy of Athens, Science-Based Technology and Society: Arrows to the Future
  • Alexander Likhotal, President, Green Cross International, Switzerland, WAAS trustee
  • Josef Lazar, The Czech Academy of Sciences (ASCR), Technology and knowledge transfer in post-transformation economies

12.15 – 12.30 Discussion

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 14.30 Transfer from Hotel to MASA

14.30 – 16.15 Session II (chair: Dr Garry Jacobs, Prof. Neven Duić)

  • Agni V. Arvanitis, President, Biopolitics International Organization, WAAS fellow, Biopolicy – building a vision of hope: Techne and technology as the tools for future society
  • Juri Engelbrecht, Estonian Academy of Sciences, WAAS trustee, Complex Society and Values
  • Miloš Trifković, President, Academy of Sciences of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ANUB&H), Are legally-imposed model ethics codes sufficient to improve moral behavior of public enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
  • Alberto Zucconi, President, Institute of Person Centered Approach (IACP), Italy, WAAS trustee, What kind of Education is Needed to Navigate the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
  • Mathieu Denis, Executive director, International Social Science Council (ISSC),
  • Ljubiša Rakić, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU), Technology – society relation, challenge for future existence
  • Winston P. Nagan, Visiting Professor Al-Farabi Kazakh National University of Kazakhstan, WAAS trustee, Technology, Scientific Consciousness and Values, The Challenge of Scientific Responsibility for the Future of Science
  • Vesna Baltezarević, John Naisbitt University, Faculty of Culture and Media, EASA fellow, The Internet and Virtual “Reality”

16.15 – 16.30 Discussion

16.30 – 17.00 Coffee break

17.00 – 18.15 Session III (chair: academician Juri Engelbrecht, academician Josef Lazar)

  • Ullica Segerstrale, Illinois University, Chicago, WAAS fellow, Cooperation as a Social Technology
  • Peter McGrath, Executive Director, The Global Network of Science Academies (IAP), Synthetic Biology: Opportunities and governance
  • Msgr. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor, Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican, Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si
  • Ljupčo Kocarev, Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU), Networks: co-evolution of technology and society
  • Dragan K. Vukčević, Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts (CANU) Growth and Development
  • Oksana Slyusarenko, Corresponding member of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU), Socio-political Position of Women of Western Balkans and Ukraine

18.15 – 18.30 Discussion 

18.30 Transfer to Hotel

20.00 Transfer from Hotel to Vine Cellar “Šipčanik” for “Vine Dinner”

20 May, Friday

8.30 – 9.45 Session IV (chair: Prof. Agni Vlavianos Arvanitis, academician Ljubiša Rakić)

  • Erich Hoedl, European Academy of Sciences and Arts (EASA), How to Govern Technological Advances?
  • Veselin Vukotić, Rector, University of Donja Gorica, associate member of CANU, Culture and Globalization
  • Lorenzo Gascon, Real Academia de Ciencias Economicas y Financieras, Barcelona (RACEF), Technology, Globalisation and its Impact in the Future
  • Francois Guinot, President, Groupe Interacadémique pour le Développement, Paris (GID), International Relations and Technologies
  • Saulo Casali Bahia, Professor and Federal Judge, Brazil, WAAS trustee, Technology, Values and Society
  • Neven Duić, University of Zagreb, WAAS fellow, Smart Energy Systems – decoupling from resource based energy
  • Timi Ećimović, World Philosophical Forum – WPF University, Slovenia, WAAS fellow, Homo sapiens Universal Upbringing, Education and Whole Life Learning toward Sustainable Future of Humankind

9.45 – 10.00 Discussion

10.00 – 10.30 Coffee break

10.30 – 12.15 Session V (chair: Prof. Veselin Vukotić, Prof. Erich Hoedl)

  • Garry Jacobs, CEO of WAAS, Technology, Employment & Human Welfare
  • Ionel Haiduc, Romanian Academy, What Technologies are needed for the Future?
  • Gheorghe Duca, President, Academy of Sciences of Moldova (ASM), Science for Sustainable Development of Society
  • Carlos Alvarez Pereira, President, Fundacion INNAXIS, Spain, A New Conceptual Framework to Prevent Technolitarian Futures
  • Nebojša Nešković, Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, University of Belgrade, WAAS trustee, Importance of basic research for technology advances
  • Saša Popović, School of Economics, University of Montenegro, WAAS associate fellow, Financial Innovations and Tech-No-Logical Progress
  • Dragoljub Mirjanić, Academy of Sciences and Arts of the Republic of Srpska (ANURS), The Influence of Renewable Energy Sources and Clean Technologies to the Climate Changes in the Undeveloped Countries. Overview of Republic of Srpska and B&H
  • Anita Etale, University of South Africa, Johannesburg, Ethics in Nanotechnology Research: Perceptions of Researchers at UNISA

12.15 – 12.30 Discussion

12.30 Transfer to the Hotel

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 14.30  Transfer to Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts

14.30 – 15.45 Session VI (chair: academician Ionel Haiduc, academician Dragoljub Mirjanić)

  • Ulric Fayl v. Hentaller, The Global Round Table, Brussels, Science + Society = Policy-Advice
  • Velimir Srića, School of Economics and Business, Zagreb, Harmonious Leadership – A Key to Superior Organizational Culture
  • Paulo Alcantara Gomes, Candido Mendes University, Rio de Janeiro, WAAS fellow, Technological advances to improve social changes in Brazil
  • Gustav R. Grob, Energy Institute, London, Chairman of ISO committee for Technical Energy Systems Analyses, The Global Transition to Sustainable Energy Security and Safety
  • Gabriel Bianchi, Director, Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences, What to do with the spirit-soul gap when facing technology innovations: Another case for a liminality hotspot?
  • Alexander Ruser, Zeppelin University Friedrichshafen, Germany, Technology can save us, can’t it? The emergence of the ‘techno-fix’ narrative in climate politics

15.45 – 16.00 Discussion

16.00 – 16.30 Coffee break

16.30 – 18.00 Session VI (continuation) (chair: Prof. Nebojša Nešković, academician Ljupčo Kocarev)

  • Mirjana Radović-Marković, Institute of Economic Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia, fellow of WAAS, EASA, The use of information technologies for enhancement cooperation between the virtual university and the business environment
  • Salvatore Bushati, Academy of Sciences of Albania, Encourage the creativity starting at the early childhood: The most effective investments for quality young researchers in the future
  • Abdeslam Badre, EU-MENA Mohammed V University–Rabat, Future Trends of EU-Southern Mediterranean Economic Diplomacy: The case of EU-Morocco DCFTA
  • Radovan Stojanović, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Montenegro, Science and technology transfer from rich to poor – help or bubble
  • Gordana Laštovička Medin, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Montenegro, Interactive Art, Ubiquitous Space, Tangible Interface, Learning and Cognitive Artefact: Relationships and implications for knowledge, creativity and communication
  • Neki Frasheri, Gudar Beqiraj, Academy of Sciences of Albania, The tragedy of innovation – reflections on innovation and disruption impact

18.00 – 19.00 Closing session

  • Academician Ivo Šlaus, HAZU, WAAS trustee
  • Academician Momir Đurović, President of CANU

19.00 Transfer to Hotel

21 May, Saturday

Departure of participants (organized transfer to airport by flight details sent)


Whole day sightseeing tour by bus (visit to Cetinje, old Royal Capital, to Montenegrin littoral towns: Kotor – on UNESCO list, and Budva)

[*] It is envisaged for each speaker to have presentation in duration of 12 minutes.