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Power is ubiquitous. We continuously exercise and resist power in which we feel omnipotent. Power shapes our lives within social, economic, and political structures, and as the energy that fuels our world. It permeates through various dimensions of our society, including political,
geopolitical, and technological realms. Understanding and addressing these aspects of power are crucial as we explore the intersections of technology, innovation, and sustainable energy.
Technology and innovation have long been catalysts for societal advancement, driving progress and shaping our future. Advancements in renewable energy sources and energy-efficient technologies revolutionize how we generate, distribute, and consume power. Solar, wind, and hydroelectric power have gained momentum in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change. Energy storage technologies, such as advanced batteries, hold the key to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy, enabling efficient
energy capture and distribution.
However, power is not just a physical force or energy. It plays a central role in shaping governance, decision-making processes, and policy formation. The distribution of political power can profoundly influence the direction of technological advancements and the implementation of sustainable energy solutions. Governments and policymakers hold the responsibility to wield their power effectively to drive transformative change. By enacting supportive policies, promoting research and development, and fostering collaboration, political power can facilitate the integration of sustainable energy technologies into our societies.
The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) brings forth a new dimension of power. AI technologies have the potential to reshape industries, economies, and societal structures. However, power imbalances may arise from the control and utilization of AI. Decision-making algorithms and automated systems can influence access to resources, job opportunities, and information, thereby affecting power dynamics within societies. Ensuring transparency, accountability, and ethical frameworks for AI deployment becomes paramount to mitigate potential power concentration and ensure equitable benefits for all.
Power is, as well, a focal point of our studies. With diverse interdisciplinary backgrounds, we come together at the Center for Technology, Innovation and Culture (TIK) to study the interaction between science and technology. For this issue, we encouraged our contributors to interpret and elaborate on power and have received a diverse range of contributions on the topic.
Sofie H. Thomassen,