The last years have seen a growing influence of corporations and private interests in new technologies. New technologies are being introduced into society without a real assessment of what they are, how they work, who is funding them and what their impacts may be. These two principal concerns inspired the coming together of several different groups in Latin American to form TECLA in 2016.
Brief Background of the Red TECLA
(2008 – 2016)
Social movements and civil society organizations in general have become more and more concerned about the pace and direction of technological change over the last several years. That concern has been greatest in Latin America. ETC Group and REDES-AT have been talking together and with numerous partners in Latin America about the need for civil society-led Technology Assessment since the global Montpellier gathering in 2008. From the outset, the technology focus has been around agriculture propelled by the incursion of GM crops and the resistance of peasant organizations. The level of concern increased with the “In Defence of Maize” process in Mexico and the petition, supported by ETC Group in Latin America, of a number of scientists calling upon the Pope to intervene in the GM debate in 2014. In conversations with the Vatican, ETC and its Latin American partners have stressed their wider concerns about new technologies and this concern was reflected in the 2015 Papal encyclical. Some of the milestones and meetings that stimulated discussion and lead to this proposal are described chronologically below:
The UN Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM):
A Civil Society Guide for Action
ETC Group (Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration)
We need technology assessment if we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals