Participatory Technology Assessment
As part of its mission to advocate for greater public participation in science and technology policymaking, the Loka Institute continues to help catalyze and popularize innovative new forms of participatory technology assessment (or pTA).
Loka played a central role in helping to organize World Wide Views on Global Warming in 2009, the first global citizen policy consultation in history. Since then, Loka's Founder and Senior Fellow, Richard Sclove, and Loka's Board Chair, Rick Worthington, have been leading Loka's efforts to partner with other organizations in the United States and internationally to create an institution in the U.S. that could coordinate and disseminate pTA activities. A key result of those partnerships to date is developing the new Expert & Citizen Assessment of Science & Technology Network (ECAST).
Loka also took part in the second World Wide Views, on Biodiversity issues, in 2012. The WWViews process has demonstrated that ordinary citizens at sites around the world are quite capable of sorting through complicated issues, deliberating together, and developing their own perspectives on ways to meet challenges.
But most countries (including the United States) lack a political culture and institutional framework for incorporating these voices into policy-making. Loka's work promoting pTA aims to address this need.
Visit us again for more materials and action updates on this vital subject. Below are resources from the Loka orbit to help you explore what participatory technology assessment is all about, and the difference a vibrant portfolio of such processes and events could mean for a healthy, just, and sustainable future for us all: