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During the last decade, the earth and its inhabitants have faced numerous large-scale, wicked problems. Wicked as in grand challenges like biodiversity loss, poverty and pandemics. This is nothing new. Countless issues have dominated the world, and some have been resolved. The Ozone layer has slowly thickened, the risk of acid rain has somewhat disappeared, and numerous other vital issues have been brought to light, and then either mended or sadly enough, sequestered. The difference between then and now, and the vital variable of current issues, is timing. The most recent and alarming IPCC report made it clear that climate change needs to be on everyone’s agenda – now. Combine this with the calamitous and disruptive COVID-19 pandemic, and we have ourselves the foundation for this issue of Teknovatøren.
These intertwined contemporary problems are especially salient in the contributions for this 21st issue. Being representatives of young and hopeful generations, we wanted to take advantage of our position and attitude by assembling an issue with a positive outlook on an otherwise gloom- ridden world. I want to acknowledge and bring focus to our front page, which epitomizes the theme, perspective, and purpose of this issue. The immense wave represents nature, our surroundings, and the wicked problems of our time, while we as people, students, readers, and writers alike, are simple surfers against the gushing waters, constantly on the move, and continuously attempting to keep afloat and surf through the relentless onslaught we face. The illustration captures this energy, which also follows the illustrations within the magazine.
Even though working on this magazine is voluntary, the engagement I have seen from the editorial board and other students has been exemplary, all the way from the establishment of the editorial board to the distribution of the magazine. Not to mention our talented designer and illustrators, who have provided life and depth to each piece of this issue. Although at times it has been quite stressful, the overall experience has been exciting and challenging. We have had countless meetings, remote work sessions, chats squeezed between lecture-packed days, and late-night discussions in our study room. What has become particularly clear to me after this whole process, is the value of such informal and nondescript “in-between” chats and meetings. I find this to be where the magazine is actually created.
At the Center for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK), we have several interdisciplinary and most importantly, different, backgrounds. Nevertheless, we come together to specialise in innovation studies and science and technology studies (STS). This gives a broad specialisation in knowledge production, system analyses, and the development of new technologies and innovations. We learn and study how science is created and what science creates, how our most salient problems are resolved or become centres of conflict. And we slowly discern just how we are all part of an increasingly complex and difficult world. This, I hope, shines through in Issue 21.
Oda Westby Executive editor