01 Culture
Research & Innovation
Societal Impact
05 February 2024Vania Lopez Diaz

Coloquium Series: Who's (not) in the room? Power and process in responsible innovation for quantum computing

On 20 February 2024 the Centre for Quantum and Society organizes the next Quantum & Society Research Colloquium with Dr. Carolyn Ten Holter as our speaker on the lecture Who's (not) in the room? Power and process in responsible innovation for quantum computing.

Responsible innovation approaches incorporate inclusivity as one of their tenets, based on the principle that science is part of, and therefore responsible to, society. Accordingly, 'stakeholders' are generally considered to be an important component of a responsible innovation approach. How stakeholders are identified, and in what dimension they are engaged with, is less clear - challenges include deciding who has the power to identify and convene stakeholders, what role they will play, what they might be asked, how this will (or will not) be taken forward, and what duty of accountability is owed to them in exchange for their engagement. These questions are further complicated by imprecise identification of what, exactly, they are stakeholders in. If the concept, project, or work in which they are to be engaged is not carefully bounded and defined, then the list of stakeholders (and corresponding externalities) becomes so broad as to be both unmanageable in any sensible process and meaningless in terms of identifying actionable outcomes. Within a domain such as quantum computing, which means many different things to different groups, such an exercise may be particularly challenging. This difficulty of definition is of primary concern, and I will propose some tools to practitioners for scoping, identifying and classifying stakeholders in order to increase the tractability of responsible innovation approaches.

The talk will be hosted in person, with the possibility to attend remotely.

Time: 15:30 – 16:30

Location: TU Delft in the Mechanical Engineering (ME), building 34, ME-Lecture Hall F – Simon Stevin, 34, A-0-610

Interested in attending, or receiving updates about future events? Register here.

Dr Carolyn Ten Holter specialises in responsible innovation approaches in a variety of novel technology domains, including autonomous vehicles, ICT sustainability, and quantum computing. She has a particular interest in policymaking and governance for novel technologies, and is currently an Oxford Policy Engagement Fellow, carrying out a secondment within the UK Government's Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. She has expertise in participatory and stakeholder-inclusive methods. As part of the RTI she leads the work on ResQCCom (looking at responsible quantum computing); a workpackage in RAILS (a project on resonsibility in autonomous systems); consults on PARIS-DE (sustainable ICT) and AMHDM (impact of social technologies on adolescent mental health), and liaises with the RTI’s networks of civil society organisations, projects, and other organisations that work on similar themes. She has degrees in law; librarianship & information science; and marketing communications; and her DPhil focused on responsible innovation in quantum computing. She sits on the BCS Quantum Working Group.

Centre for Quantum and Society  

The Centre for Quantum and Society is a knowledge and co-creation center to maximize quantum technologies’ positive impact on society. We’re part of Action Line 4 of Quantum Delta NL, a unique program that aims to put societal impact first. We facilitate ground-breaking research into the ethical, legal, and societal dimensions related to quantum technologies. We develop tools to assess quantum applications’ impacts and develop governance approaches and guidelines. We support start–ups, small businesses, and corporate innovation teams in understanding the potential impact of quantum technologies on their sector, customers, and society. Last but not least, we initiate mission-driven innovation projects. 

This monthly colloquium, organized by the Center for Quantum & Society of Quantum Delta NL, provides a platform for quantum & society researchers, aimed at building and broadening the community engaged in research on non-technical questions related to quantum technologies, including their development, applications, and implications. We will provide networking opportunities within the community, including with the aim to facilitate new collaborations. 

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