Science and Technology is worshiped, exalted and rarefied at the alter of progress and development. Many of these technologies are innovated and developed in the closeted labs in research institutes, corporate r&d labs sans the involvement of society and the wider stakeholders at large. This creates a technological divide, between the geeks and the followers. All throughout history, social and economic factors have shaped technology and how these technologies have become embedded in the mosaic of day to day existence The refrigerator initially in the early twentieth century was predominantly gas based but due the influence of the electricity utility companies, technology evolved towards developing into a favorable environment for the electricity based product. Politics and the Social Architecture determines the trajectory of innovation and acceptance in the societal ecosystem.
In this era of advancing Climate Change, where the poorest billion is at the frontier to take the hit from the power of Mother Nature due to our irresponsible carbon intensive industrialization. But most of the technology being generated in labs now a days is not innovated in consultation in multi disciplinary settings but rather top down from the scientists and technologists. Water Technologies developed can be a panacea for the 1.1 billion souls who do not have access to clean water, in order to reach the ground actors, engineers have to create teams with public health professionals and with anthropologists/developmental specialists to understand the culture and the traditional institutional frameworks for the clean water to reach the man who really needs it.
Sustainable technologies is not about creating farms of photo voltaic cells or off shore wind farms but about the impact of reaching communities off the power grid. Sustainable technologies need to be humanized in order to be real to the person it is really meant for. Technology is a complement to Society and not the other way around. Sustainability as a concept has to incorporate the human element, environment is not a biotic, it is us who live because of it.
Sustainability is the DNA of Nature’s Survival. Technology plays an important role, it can be made more lethal in its application, for good.