New technologies can result in drivers of change, impacting on environment and inducing transformation/creation of jobs. Technologies are therefore a relevant aspect in the socio-environmental-economic context and require adequate strategies for the management of the human activities and natural resources, in particular when tackling complex challenges as those addressed in seas and oceans.
OECD foresees a doubling of maritime economy in 2030 and 7 more million jobs in Europe. Governments of G7 expressed in 2018 their interests and commitments in the preparation for the jobs of the future, looking at the evolution of technologies. Despite a decoupling between jobs and productivity has been demonstrated since the beginning of this millennium and often addressed to the introduction of automation, the real challenge is the match between the future needs and the capacity to fulfil them in terms of solutions. The blue economy and a knowledge-economy will be deeply entangled in the future and the process which will bring next generations to be prepared to tackle the future, necessarily requires the awareness of the impacts of new technologies and the involvement of all the stakeholders from the beginning.
Climate change, critical raw materials, pollution and other challenges are indeed linked to technologies, either as sources or as possible solutions.
Forward-looking of emerging technologies and modelling their diffusion in different sectors is carried out in different contexts and indeed is a very challenging task. In this regard, the estimate of timescales and impacts of the socio-economic transformations are crucial to plan large investments and legislation, as well as decisions which can reduce political shocks and damages.