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Biodigital Convergence: What happens when X meets Y?

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The changes brought by digital technologies and networks continue to disrupt our economies and transform aspects of our lives. What if we are on the cusp of yet another significant evolution, one where digital technologies and biological systems merge and combine? We call this the biodigital convergence, and we are seeing signs that it is accelerating. 

As digital technologies and biological systems converge, there are possible changes to the way we work, live, and even how we evolve as a species. Surprising new dilemmas may bring us back to very old questions: What is it to be human? What is natural? What is our role in the development of life on earth?

We at Policy Horizons are examining three ways in which this convergence is happening:

  1. Full physical integration of biological and digital entities, where digital technology can be embedded in organisms, and biological components can exist as parts of digital technologies.
  2. Coevolution of biological and digital technologies, where advances in one domain generate major advances in the other.
  3. New ways of thinking in which ideas and methods from biology and digital technologies merge or cross over into the other domain. 
Three ways biodigital convergence is emerging

The consequences of biodigital convergence play out in the economy, our societies, bodies, and ecosystems. We have already begun exploring the futures that could arise from this change so that we can seize opportunities, mitigate risks, and approach disruptions with care and sensitivity. This is especially important as pressing social and ethical considerations are likely to surface. 

Follow #biodigitalcovergence to learn more as we further explore this area of foresight.

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Policy Horizons | Horizons de politiques

Policy Horizons Canada, also referred to as Policy Horizons, is an organization within the federal public service that conducts strategic foresight on cross-cutting issues that informs public servants today about the possible public policy implications over the next 10-15 years.

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