MSc Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Global challenges, emerging technologies and governance

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN73952
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course will examine:  

  • The nature of global societal challenges, including economic, sustainability, ethical, and inclusiveness aspects, and relationships to developmental goals in advanced and emerging economies
  • Opportunities and barriers in addressing global challenges from business, institutional, and policy perspectives
  • Promise of future and emerging technologies - anticipating new technologies and their impacts, unanticipated effects
  • Future and emerging technologies – frameworks for responsibility and governance of innovation, new business models, grand challenges, transformative innovation policy and transitions, and role of supporting policies
  • Operationalising and assessing governance strategies for emerging technologies – implementation and evaluation methods
  • Insights from technology-driven case studies, including nanotechnology and graphene, synthetic biology, and artificial intelligence, and from challenge-driven cases such as smart cities and sustainable consumption.



BMAN73952 Programme Req: BMAN73952 is only available as an elective to students on MSc IME


This course develops an understanding of the nature and interplay of global societal challenges and emerging technologies, and opportunities for new business and policy models. An understanding is developed of potentially transformative global trends in research and innovation, and public and private decision-making shaping the development of new technologies. Dilemmas of uncertainty, timing, capability, resources, access, and inclusion are examined, with consideration of bridging approaches. Conceptual (such as networked governance, anticipatory governance, responsible research and innovation) and practical tools (such as technology assessment, foresight, and evaluation) are introduced to critically understand and assess the implications of emerging technologies on business, government and society as well as ways in which businesses, government and society can anticipate and address global societal challenges.

Learning outcomes

A holistic understanding of the interplay of global societal challenges and global production and deployment of knowledge, technologies and innovation will be acquired. . Exposure to these challenges and debates is increasingly central to both professional performance and active and informed citizenship in a modern technological society. On completion of this course, students will have a conceptual and practical understanding of the nature of global societal challenges and the consequences of the internationalisation of research and innovation. The course will develop critical skills to assess intractable policy problems and dilemmas and their implications for society and policy decision-making. Students will develop an appreciation of key concepts, frameworks and debates around emerging technologies, and critical applications to technology and societal cases, and will acquire practical skills to analyse policies and business strategies. 

Assessment methods

Individual assignment: 60%

Group poster project: 40% (30% for poster submission; 10% for group presentation)

Feedback methods

Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework.

Informal advice and discussion during course meetings

Responses to student emails and questions

Specific course related feedback sessions.

Written and/or verbal comments after students have given presentations


Recommended reading

Collingridge, D. The Social Control of Technology, London: Pinter, 1980.

Kurzweil, R., The Singularity is Near, London: London, Penguin, 2005.

OECD, The Next Production Revolution. Implications for Government and Business, Paris, 2017.

Owen, R., Macnaghten, P, Stilgoe, J. Responsible research and innovation: From science in society to science for society, with society, Science and Public Policy, 2012.

Ribeiro, B., Bengtsson, L., Benneworth, P., Bührer, S, Castro-Martínez, E., Hansen, M., Jarmai, K., Lindner, R., Olmos-Peñuela, J., Ott, C., Shapira. P. Perspectives on the dilemma of societal alignment for responsible research and innovation. Working Paper, 2017.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Cornelia Lawson Unit coordinator
Philip Shapira Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal Contact Methods

Office Hours

Online Learning Activities (blogs, discussions, self assessment questions)

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