01 Culture
Research & Innovation
Societal Impact
30 November 2023Vania Lopez

Future Scenarios Project, a pioneering leap into the (quantum) future

Step-by-step methodology followed during the workshop series
Step-by-step methodology followed during the workshop series

In the ever-evolving landscape of quantum technologies, the Centre for Quantum and Society takes a pioneering leap into the future through its innovative initiative - the Future Scenarios Project. This visionary project, designed in a series of dynamic workshops, aims to co-create exploratory scenarios that envision the state of Quantum Networks in 2050, emphasizing the ethical, legal, and societal aspects. 

By employing Strategic Foresight, a non-predictive subfield of Future Studies, the project brings together a diverse array of participants, including experts from academia, industry, government, and the public, to collaboratively map out the potential futures of Quantum Networks. This inclusive co-creation process aims to build a common understanding within the Quantum Delta NL ecosystem that aligns with its shared values and goals. 

‘The Future Scenarios Project aims not only to anticipate the potential futures of Quantum Networks but also to actively contribute to shaping a shared, desirable vision for 2050. By fostering collective sensemaking and learning, the project sets the stage for proactive governance choices that align with the values of a quantum-powered society’ says George Profitiliotis, postdoctoral researcher at TUDelft. 

Our Case: Quantum Networks in 2050 

Quantum networks development efforts are on the raise in Europe and the Netherlands, with initiatives like the Quantum Internet Alliance, that aims to building the world’s first global quantum internet made in Europe, the QuTech, Eurofiber and Juniper Networks partnership deploying a Quantum testbed in The Netherlands, and the Quantum Key Distribution pilot that the Port of Rotterdam is deploying with Q*Bird, a QuTech spinoff. Furthermore, in 2022, the European Commission selected ‘quantum internet’ as a strategic area for investment to build a global quantum internet made in Europe.  

In this context, quantum networks' development occurs in a profoundly uncertain environment, with stakeholders harboring varied mental models of the implications of putting this technology into place. Strategic Foresight is crucial to avoid misalignment and hidden assumptions, as it offers a structured approach to understanding possible futures and building a common framework. 

Futures Studies: Shaping the Unpredictable 

Futures Studies, as the systematic contemplation of alternative futures, empowers the participants to prepare for the unpredictable, based on the Centre for Quantum and Society’s mission of co-creating knowledge. The project is laying the groundwork for a future where quantum technologies harmonize with societal values and aspirations.

The Future scenarios project is part of the postdoctoral research conducted by George Profitiliotis, an expert in future studies who joined the Centre for Quantum & Society as a Postdoc at the department of Human-Centered Design, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology. His research focuses on anticipating the effects of advanced technologies, including quantum technologies.   

The core team of the project that works closely with Quantum Delta NL Action Line 4 researchers involves the centre’s Director, Diederick Croese, and its Innovation Lead Deborah Nas, ensuring a holistic approach at the intersection of research and societal impact. 

Interested in joining the Future Scenarios’ project in January? We are open to welcome five volunteer participants for the session, who will be selected based on their relevant profiles. Get in touch with us at cqs@quantumdelta.nl! 

Get in touch with

Vania Lópezv.lopezdiaz@uva.nl

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