+1 Recommend
1 collections

      If you have found this article useful and you think it is important that researchers across the world have access, please consider donating, to ensure that this valuable collection remains Open Access.

      Prometheus is published by Pluto Journals, an Open Access publisher. This means that everyone has free and unlimited access to the full-text of all articles from our international collection of social science journalsFurthermore Pluto Journals authors don’t pay article processing charges (APCs).

      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Exploring value change

      1 , , 2
      Pluto Journals


            This article aims to explore the use of cross-impact balances (CIB) to identify scenarios of value change. The possibility of value change has received little attention in the literature on value-sensitive design (VSD). Examples of value change include the emergence of new values and changes in the relative importance of values. Value change could lead to a mismatch between values embedded in technology and the way they are currently considered in society. Such a mismatch could result in a lack of acceptability of technologies, increasing social tensions and injustices. However, methods to study value change in the VSD literature are rare. CIB is a scenario tool that can study systems characterized by feedback loops that are hard to describe mathematically. This is often the case when aiming to define values and their relationships. We demonstrate the use of CIB to identify scenarios of value change using two cases: digital voice assistants and gene drive organisms. Our findings show that CIB is helpful in building scenarios of value change, even in instances where the operationalization of values is complex. CIB also helps us to understand the mechanisms of value change and evaluate when such mechanisms occur. Finally, we find that CIB is particularly useful for social learning and explanatory modelling. CIB can therefore contribute to the design of value-sensitive technologies.


            Author and article information

            Pluto Journals
            01 June 2022
            : 38
            : 1
            : prometheus.38.1.0025
            [1 ]Department of Values, Technology and Innovation, School of Technology, Policy and Management, Technical University Delft, Delft, The Netherlands
            [2 ]Department of Knowledge Integration, School of Environment, University of Waterloo, Canada
            Author notes

            Accepting editor: Steven Umbrello


            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Page count
            Pages: 20
            Research papers

            Computer science,Arts,Social & Behavioral Sciences,Law,History,Economics


            1. (2009) ‘Topic models’ in (eds) Text Mining: Theory and Applications, Taylor & Francis, Milton Park, UK, pp.71–89. doi: [Cross Ref].

            2. (2005) ‘Nuclear reactor safety’ in Nuclear Energy: Principles, Practices, and Prospects, Springer, New York, pp.371–410. doi: [Cross Ref].

            3. (2010) ‘Anticipating the interaction between technology and morality: a scenario study of experimenting with humans in bionanotechnology’, Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology, 4, 2. doi: [Cross Ref].

            4. et al. (2006) ‘Scenario types and techniques: towards a user’s guide’, Futures, 38, 7, pp.723–39. doi: [Cross Ref].

            5. (2010) ‘Thinking inside the box: a participatory, computer-assisted approach to scenario discovery’, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 77, 1, pp.34–49. doi: [Cross Ref].

            6. (2015) ‘Value sensitive design: applications, adaptations, and critiques’ in (eds) Handbook of Ethics, Values, and Technological Design, Springer, Dordrecht, pp.11–40.

            7. (1922) ‘Valuation and experimental knowledge’, Philosophical Review, 31, 4, pp.325–51. doi: [Cross Ref].

            8. et al. (2018) ‘Different modelling purposes’, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 22, 3. doi: [Cross Ref].

            9. (1996) Growing Artificial Societies: Social Science from the Bottom Up, Brookings Institution, Washington DC.

            10. ETC Group (2019) Gene Drive organisms: An Introduction to a Dangerous New Technology Putting Africans at Risk, available at https://www.etcgroup.org/sites/www.etcgroup.org/files/files/etc_gene_drive_organisms-web_en.pdf.

            11. (1958) ‘Industrial dynamics: a major breakthrough for decision makers’, Harvard Business Review, 36, 4, pp.37–66.

            12. (1996) ‘Value-sensitive design’, Magazine Interactions, 3, 6, pp.16–23.

            13. (2004) ‘Value sensitive design’ in (ed.) Berkshire Encyclopedia of Human–Computer Interaction, Berkshire Publishing Group, Great Barrington.

            14. (2000) ‘New directions: a value-sensitive design approach to augmented reality’ in Proceedings of DARE 2000 on Designing Augmented Reality Environments, Association for Computing Machinery, Elsinore, Denmark, pp.163–4. doi: [Cross Ref].

            15. (2017) ‘A survey of value sensitive design methods’, Foundations and Trends in Human–Computer Interaction, 11, 23, pp.63–125. doi: [Cross Ref].

            16. (2001) Value Sensitive Design: Theory and Methods, Technical Report 02-12-01, Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle WA. doi: [Cross Ref].

            17. (2019) ‘“I’ve got you under my skin”: the role of ethical consideration in the (non-) acceptance of insideables in the workplace’, Technology in Society, 56, C, pp.93–108. doi: [Cross Ref].

            18. (2020) Look Who’s Talking: Tools for the Responsible Use of Speech Technology, Rathenau Instituut, The Hague.

            19. (1981) ‘Reassessment of cross-impact analysis’, Futures, 13, pp.389–400.

            20. (2018) ‘Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and more: an introduction to voice assistants’, Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 37, 1, pp.81–8. doi: [Cross Ref].

            21. et al. (2016) ‘Cross impact analysis of vehicle-to-grid technologies in the context of 2030’, 9th International Conference on Power Drives Systems, ICPDS 2016: Conference Proceedings, Perm, Russia: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), pp.1–5. doi: [Cross Ref].

            22. (2021) ‘“Alexa, who am I?”: voice assistants and hermeneutic lemniscate as the technologically mediated sense-making’, Human Studies, 44, 2, pp.233–53. doi: [Cross Ref].

            23. (2017) ‘Cross-impact balance as an approach for the development of consistent storylines for the European energy market’, International Conference on the European Energy Market, EEM, 1. doi: [Cross Ref].

            24. (2013) ‘Exploratory modeling and analysis, an approach for model-based foresight under deep uncertainty’, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 80, 3, pp.419–31. doi: [Cross Ref].

            25. (2011) ‘What values in design? The challenge of incorporating moral values into design’, Science & Engineering Ethics, 17, 2, pp.271–87. doi: [Cross Ref].

            26. et al. (1972) The Limits to Growth; A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind, Universe Books, New York.

            27. National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine (2016) Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values, National Academies Press, Washington DC. doi: [Cross Ref].

            28. et al. (2017) ‘Evolutionary dynamics of CRISPR gene drives’, Science Advances, 3, 4, pp.3–10. doi: [Cross Ref].

            29. (2014) ‘Applying value sensitive design (VSD) to wind turbines and wind parks: an exploration’, Science and Engineering Ethics, 21, pp.359–79. doi: [Cross Ref].

            30. (2015) ‘Engineers and active responsibility’, Science and Engineering Ethics, 4, pp.925–39. doi: [Cross Ref].

            31. (2016) ‘Malaria in Europe: emerging threat or minor nuisance?’, Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 22, 6, pp.487–93. doi: [Cross Ref].

            32. (2016) ‘A coherentist view on the relation between social acceptance and moral acceptability of technology’ in (eds) Philosophy of Technology After the Empirical Turn, Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp.177–93. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-33717-3_11.

            33. (2017) ‘Moral experimentation with new technology’ in (eds) New Perspectives on Technology in Society: Experimentation Beyond the Laboratory, Routledge, London.

            34. (2020a) ‘Three philosophical perspectives on the relation between technology and society, and how they affect the current debate about artificial intelligence’, Human Affairs, 30, 4, pp.499–511. doi: [Cross Ref].

            35. (2020b) ‘Values and design’ in (eds) Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Engineering, Routledge, New York, pp.300–14.

            36. (2021) ‘Design for value change’, Ethics and Information Technology, 23, 4, pp.27–31.

            37. (2011) Ethics, Technology and Engineering, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

            38. (2020) ‘Engineering and social responsibility accounting for values in the development and design of new nuclear reactors’, Bridge, 50, 3, pp.59–65.

            39. (1988) Scenario Techniques, McGraw-Hill, St Louis MO.

            40. et al. (2018) ‘What scenarios are you missing? Poststructuralism for deconstructing and reconstructing organizational futures’ in (eds) How Organizations Manage the Future: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Insights, Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp.153–72. doi: [Cross Ref].

            41. (2019) ‘Scenarios and decision support for security and conflict risks in the context of climate change’, Current Climate Change Reports, 5, 1, pp.12–23. doi: [Cross Ref].

            42. (2020) ‘Reflections on cross-impact balances, a systematic method constructing global socio-technical scenarios for climate change research’, Climatic Change, 162, pp.1705–22. doi: [Cross Ref].

            43. (2012) ‘Improving environmental change research with systematic techniques for qualitative scenarios’, Environmental Research Letters, 7, 4. doi: [Cross Ref].

            44. (2016) ‘Systematically linking qualitative elements of scenarios across levels, scales, and sectors’, Environmental Modelling and Software, 79, pp.322–33. doi: [Cross Ref].

            45. et al. (2019) ‘Values that matter’, Conference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management, 2, 1. doi: [Cross Ref].

            46. Staticta (2021) Installed Base of Smart Speakers Worldwide in 2020 and 2024, available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/878650/worldwide-smart-speaker-installed-base-by-country/ (accessed July 2021).

            47. et al. (1999) ‘A value-belief-norm theory of support for social movements: the case of environmentalism’, Human Ecology Review, 6, 2, pp.81–97. doi: [Cross Ref].

            48. (2007) ‘Nano-ethics as NEST-ethics: patterns of moral argumentation about new and emerging science and technology’, NanoEthics, 1, 1, pp.3–20. doi: [Cross Ref].

            49. (2016) ‘Bridging the gap between social acceptance and ethical acceptability’, Risk Analysis, 37, 10. doi: [Cross Ref].

            50. (2021) ‘Mapping value sensitive design onto AI for social good principles’, AI and Ethics, 0123456789. doi: [Cross Ref].

            51. et al. (2017) ‘Analysis of the energy consumption of private households in Germany using multi-level cross-impact balance approach – data’, Data in Brief, 10, pp.515–17. doi: [Cross Ref].

            52. (2015) ‘Social impacts of earthquakes caused by gas extraction in the province of Groningen, The Netherlands’, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 50, pp.1–15. doi: [Cross Ref].

            53. WCED (1987) Our Common Future. Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, WCED, Oxford.

            54. (2006) ‘Cross-impact balances: a system-theoretical approach to cross-impact analysis’, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 73, 4, pp.334–61. doi: [Cross Ref].

            55. (2008) ‘Cross-impact balances: applying pair interaction systems and multi-value Kauffman nets to multidisciplinary systems analysis’, Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 387, 14, pp.3689–3700. doi: [Cross Ref].

            56. WHO (2020) World Malaria Report 2020: 20 Years of Global Progress and Challenges, WHO, Geneva, available at https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240015791 (accessed February 2022).

            57. (2020) Value Conflicts in Energy Systems, TU Delft Repository, Delft University of Technology, available at https://doi.org/10.4233/uuid:f7a44425-27ee-4b59-a514-55df183b3c0c (accessed February 2022).

            58. et al. (2021) ‘ Ex ante assessment of the social acceptance of sustainable heating systems: an agent-based modelling approach’, Energy Policy, 153, paper 112265. doi: [Cross Ref].

            59. (2021) ‘Tracing value change; opportunities of probabilistic topic models using large sets of literature’, Science, Technology & Human Values, 47(3), pp. 429–458. doi: [Cross Ref].


            Comment on this article