The Techno-Social Dilemma

The exponential pace of technological development in the modern era has brought both great utility and myriad social challenges. This paradox -- which researchers have termed the techno-social dilemma -- is central to Human Energy's research.

At the individual level, it manifests as an existential crisis – a loss of meaning, direction, and values. On a global scale, it is an existential threat to our very species: the root cause of modern society’s compounding crises, from the misuse of AI and social media to climate change and geopolitical conflict.
Advancements in technology have generated powerful breakthroughs for many aspects of human progress. Innovations across agriculture, medicine, transportation, and communication together have increased lifespans while lowering global poverty rates. Amid the accelerating technological changes of the modern era, however, many are calling into question how we evaluate and ensure real progress for our species and our planet.

Modern society finds itself increasingly dependent on the digital sphere, but we lack the corresponding sense of agency that should come with these new capacities. Many new technologies simply were not designed for human use at human scale.

At Human Energy, we see promise in exploring innovative technologies with a longer-term perspective and global, interdisciplinary collaboration. Only through universal alignment can we regain the agency lost to these runaway technologies. Our organization is proud to support multiple studies into the effects of the techno-social dilemma on modern society, human behavior, and the evolution of our species. This critical research will enable organizations worldwide to implement a more human-centered approach for implementing new technologies and advancing the common cause of human progress.

Modern society is grappling with exponential technological change. Human Energy is sponsoring academic research into the unforeseen consequences of innovation, from pollution and climate change to a youth mental health crisis. We see a way forward through global and interdisciplinary collaboration.

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