Large Techno Social Systems. Emergence of Social Welfare Techno Systems. Summary = Sistema teknosozial handiak. Ongizateko teknologia-sistemen sorrera. Laburpena

Large Techno Social Systems. Emergence of Social Welfare Techno Systems. Summary

Este artículo resume el contenido de todos los manuscritos incluidos en este volumen de la RIEV, destacando su principal contribución e introduciendo a los autores encargados de cada uno de ellos.

Grandes sistemas tecno-sociales. Resumen.


Large Techno-Social (LTS) systems are characterized by the large number of heterogeneous actors and the complexity and emergent character of the processes undertaken in them (Rod and Kera, 2010). They represent a distinctive paradigm in contemporary societies, where advanced technology intertwines intricately with complex social structures, giving rise to multifaceted challenges and opportunities (Vespignani, 2009). These systems have become the cornerstone of modern civilization, and their influence is felt across organizations, sectors, shaping economies, cultures, and political landscapes (Jolly et al., 2006). Understanding these systems is not merely an academic pursuit, it is rather a pressing societal necessity. This volume delves into the heart of these intricate LTS, providing comprehensive insights into their functioning, challenges, and the imperative solutions and debates required for their sustainable evolution.

LTS play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of human progress. The integration of cutting-edge technologies into the social fabric has transformed and is transforming how societies operate. However, this integration is not without challenges. Ethical dilemmas, security threats, and socio-economic inequalities are just a few examples of the intricate issues that emerge from these systems. Moreover, the impacts of LTS are not confined to one specific region or sector. They are global and multifaceted. Therefore, a holistic understanding of these systems is paramount to navigating the complexities of our interconnected world.

The analysis of LTS requires approaching them from multiple perspectives. This special issue has aimed to capture some of these perspectives (e.g. digital humanities, mental health, humanized computing, urban planning, identity creation, priority setting, policymaking) and as a result, address some of the debates that this techno-social binomial opens. This volume contributes to the research on LTS and their implications, as it addresses several of the critical challenges that emerge from their development and further integration.

The papers included in this volume also discuss some of the further research opportunities/agendas that may emanate from this multidisciplinary scientific question. By examining the intricate interplay between technology and society, this volume highlights some of the challenges that we are currently facing and those to come in the forthcoming future. Addressing these will be paramount to ensure the smooth functioning of our societies and to safeguard fundamental human values. In an era in which the boundaries between the physical and digital realms blur, understanding and addressing these challenges is imperative.

The first article opening the volume has been written by Jesus Ugalde and Javier Echeverria. Dr. Ugalde is professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of the Basque Country. Javier Echeverria is professor at the University of the Basque Country, his primary fields of investigation being the philosophy of science and technology. Their article emphasizes the dynamic interaction between LTS systems and societal regulations, highlighting the need for real-time adjustment to internal and external changes. Using various illustrative examples, it introduces the multiple layers to be considered, which include regulations, local patterns and behaviors, the density and complexity of societal interactions and the co-evolution of internal and external environments, and the challenges associated to their management.

The second article has been written by Maite Apezteguia. Ms. Apezteguia is the founder of the architectural firm Apezteguia Arquitectos. Urban architect by the University of Navarra, in 2002, she represented Spain at the 8th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. Her article offers a global reflection on the city of the 21st century after describing the crisis of the urban planning models and instruments used until now.

The third paper has been written by Nekane Balluerka and Olatz Goñi-Balentziaga. Prof. Balluerka is the head of the Qualiker research group at the University of the Basque Country, a research group where Dr. Goñi- Balentziaga also belongs to, and who is focused on behavioral sciences methods. Their article assesses technology's impact on mental health, highlighting its benefits and risks. The paper argues how balancing innovation with person-centered mental health, along with bolstering mental health professionals is crucial for promoting universal well-being.

Ander Gurrutxaga Abad and Auxkin Galarraga Ezponda are the authors of the next paper in the volume. Dr. Gurrutxaga is Professor of Sociology at the University of the Basque Country and is the principal investigator of the INNOLAB research group, which is focused on the intersection between change, complexity and innovation. In turn, Dr. Galarraga is Associate Professor at the School of Law at the University of the Basque Country. Their article discusses how socio-technical systems engage with global socio-structural changes and local history, using the left bank of the Nervión River as a case study.

The authors of the fifth article are Nagore Ipiña Larrañaga and Vicente Atxa Uribe. Dr. Atxa is the Rector of Mondragon Unibertsitatea, and Dr. Ipiña is the Dean of the School of Humanities and Educational Sciences of Mondragon Unibertsitatea. Their paper delves into the realm of critical and conscious humanities in digital spaces, emphasizing the crucial intersection between technology and humanistic perspectives. By embracing diverse viewpoints, the paper highlights the capacity of critical humanities to tackle societal challenges and offers a decalogue to prioritize human experiences and ethical considerations in the development and deployment of technology.

The sixth paper is authored by Pedro Larrañaga and Vicente P. Soloviev. Dr. Larrañaga is Professor of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and Mr. Soloviev is a PhD student at the Computational Intelligence Group at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Their article discusses the possibility of representing techno-social systems through complex networks, using mathematical models to predict their behavior. It introduces complex network theory, applying it to diverse fields, and demonstrates a bibliographic citation network in academia using open-access software.

The seventh paper is co-authored by Diego López-de-Ipiña, Diego Casado-Mansilla, Maite Puerta and Oihane Gómez. Dr. Diego López-de-Ipiña is Professor and the Principal Investigator of the "DEUSTEK/MORElab - ICT for Good" group affiliated with the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Deusto in Bilbao. Dr. Casado, Dr. Gómez and Ms. Puerta are researchers of the MORElab group at the University of Deusto in Bilbao. Their manuscript explores sociotechnical strategies for smart communities, emphasizing co-production for citizen empowerment and citizen science for sustainable actions. It advocates for Humanized Computing, integrating humans consistently in technological advancements.

The next paper is written by Itziar Otegui-Feliz, Andoni Ibarra and Jose María Pitarke. Ms. Otegui-Feliz is the head of communication and outreach of CIC nanoGUNE, Dr. Ibarra Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of the Basque Country, and Dr. Pitarke is Professor of Physics at the University of the Basque Country and general director of CIC nanoGUNE. Their paper explores the Basque Research and Innovation system as a vital component of the large techno-social system. It addresses some of the societal challenges associated with its evolution, and proposes solutions within the framework of open responsible research and innovation.

Finally, the last paper is authored by Ignacio Palacios-Huerta. Dr. Palacios-Huerta is Professor at the Department of Management at the London School of Economics. His paper focuses on the impact that large techno-social can have on behavior, preferences, and the global economy. It emphasizes the need for an equilibrium framework to understand the formation of preferences and reviews formal frameworks for studying the endogenous formation of preferences and measuring the impact of different agents in interconnected systems.


Jolly, L., Radcliffe, D., Smith, A., Nycyk, M., & Andersen, J. (2006). Techno-social systems in organisations. International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, 1(3), 91.

Rod, J., & Kera, D. (2010). From agency and subjectivity to animism: phenomenological and Science Technology Studies (STS) approach to design of large techno-social systems. Digital Creativity, 21(1), 70-76.

Vespignani, A. (2009). Predicting the behavior of techno-social systems. Science, 325(5939), 425-428.

Lourdes Basabe-Desmonts and Jon Mikel Zabala-Iturriagagoitia. Guest Editors