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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.

About This Course

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.

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 and development or portfolio management.

Learning Outcomes

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

LO1. Draw a map of the potential future business landscape

LO2. Identify interesting future business roles in emerging value networks

LO3. Identify barriers to a technological development and make estimates regarding the timing

LO4. Analyze and estimate the impact of technology

LO5. Execute critical analysis of the impact of technology

Course Instructor

Course Staff Image #1

Dr. Martin Vendel

Dr. Vendel holds a M.Sc., a Tekn.Lic. as well as a Doctorate in Chemical Engineering from KTH, Royal Institute of Technology. Dr. Vendel has more than 20 years of industrial experience within strategy, marketing, product management business development and HR. He has held executive positions within the telecommunications/media and process industries. Dr. Vendel is today part time active at the Department for Industrial Economics and Management, Division of Industrial Marketing and Entrepreneurship, at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, within research and education. He has also been active as researcher at Stockholm School of Economics. The majority of his time is now devoted to teaching and development within EIT Digital. Dr. Vendel also works as advisor and holds board positions in start-up companies.

ECTS Credits


Course Content and Structure

6 weeks plus exam week. The course design and structure aim to give course participants the best possible conditions for active learning. It is based on series of video lectures supplemented by other visual and text materials, quizzes, and individual assignment where students can apply new knowledge.

Detailed Course Content and Structure

1 week: Welcome to The Impact of Technology (2 hours to complete)

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. 3 videos (Total 24 min)

Theory and models - practical use (3 hours to complete)

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.5 videos (Total 43 min), 1 quiz

2 week: Technology delta and barriers (5 hours to complete)

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.6 videos (Total 45 min), 1 quiz

3 week: Foresight (9 hours to complete)

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.6 videos (Total 38 min), 1 quiz

4 week: Value networks (5 hours to complete)

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.5 videos (Total 22 min), 1 quiz

5 week: Business roles and ideas (9 hours to complete)

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.5 videos (Total 25 min), 1 quiz

6 week: Strategy (5 hours to complete)

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. 4 videos (Total 21 min), 1 quiz

7 week: Finale - The Impact of Technology (1 hour to complete)

We have come to the end of the course. This video and the exam are the final elements included.1 video (Total 3 min), 1 exam

Assessment Methods and Weighting Scheme

Completion of interim evaluations (>80%), final examination. 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.

The learners will be assessed through:

  • Formative assessment, including progress tests (80%)
  • Final examination (individual project), 20%

Language of Instruction


Frequently Asked Questions

What is an online course?

The online course includes learning activities to be done at a self-pace according to the suggested course schedule.

What are the course requirements?

Students should study all the suggested materials in the consequent order, pass the compulsory course tests and be active in discussion on the course webpage. The final assignment is mandatory in order to complete the course. Students are also required to do peer-review.

How should I manage my learning time?

The students are strongly advised to work continually to distribute the workload and accomplish week modules in time.