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A1: Pathways for sustainable Technology Development


The growth of emerging nations based on today’s predominate technology fuels global economic, environmental and social problems. The challenge lies in identifying and developing technologies that allow an increase in quality of life for people living in economically successful and less successful countries alike, considering an accountable consumption of resources.
The goal of this project is to identify a solution space for sustainable value creation and to transfer technical potentials into useful applications. For this purpose, sustainable technology concepts are developed, which can be built

  • for different levels of development,
  • in the areas of human living mobility, energy and production,
  • considering the economical, environmental and social dimension of sustainability,
  • with variable system boundaries,
  • considering anticipated framework conditions of an observed surrounding field,
  • including existing as well as future technologies.

These are developed technology induced, emanating from either a system or system element, or problem induced. Technology induced technological potentials can be transformed into useful applications. The problem induced path, emanating from future framework conditions of an observed field, allows human needs to be satisfied trough technological potentials.
By the creation of so far 15 exemplary applications it was demonstrated how sustainable technology systems can be built for different areas of human living and development levels technology as well as problem induced. With the exemplary application „hydrogen based mobility“ it was shown how an existing system can be screened and improved regarding its sustainability in the three dimension in the area of human living mobility and for a high development level.
The exemplary application „modular machine tool frame – Living Factory“ showed how, by applying the technology induced path, a system element in the form of a future technology can be embedded in the context of a system, an adaptable factory, in the area of human living production for a high development level.
By exemplary applications of the problem induced path, such as the „cacao mass production“, it was demonstrated how a system of the area of human living production – a mobile small-sized factory for the production of cacao mass – can be screened and improved concerning its sustainability and the anticipated framework conditions of a low development level using the example of Sierra Leone can be considered.
In the exemplary application „operation and repair of bicycles“ a sustainable system, which combines a do-it-yourself repair shop with a mobile app for bicycle sharing, was created. By referring to surrounding field scenarios for bicycle mobility in Berlin, it was shown how anticipated framework conditions can also be integrated for a high development level and the area of human living mobility.

Learn more about challenge, approach and results of project A1 in this Powerpoint presentation.

Results from the first funding period

Scenario Tool

Two software-tools for the creation of surrounding field scenarios on the one hand (Clustering with „FieldCon“) and creation of technology scenarios (system creation with „TechCon“) on the other hand can be downloaded. These tools have been developed in cooperation of the projects A1 and A5.

„FieldCon“ for creation of surrounding field scenarios
Surrounding field scenarios are used to depict different future developments, the so called scenarios. For this purpose the approach of clustering of key factors of the surrounding field, which show a strong connection, is used.

„TechCon“ for creation of technology scenarios
Technology scenarios are used to find useful and sustainable combinations of system elements to systems. This allows for example the technical reasonable and sustainable combination of alternative technologies.

Please click here to download the tools.




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