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KAFP 3315 - History of Technology Revolution

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


This course is designed to put the digital economy into perspective with an overview of 200 years of technological revolutions. It will be particularly useful for every student interested in technology, economics, institutions, and history. It will also be useful for all those pursuing a career in technology companies that are at the forefront of the current transition, or those that are about to join government agencies and traditional companies undergoing their own digital transformation.

Course Description

This course aims to give students a better understanding of the five “technological revolutions and techno-economic paradigms” from the Industrial Revolution to our current Age of Ubiquitous Computing and Networks. Each “paradigm shift” is propagated at three interlinked levels (Perez 2004): 1. The new technological system rolled out in the productive sphere, it changes production methods and the organization of work. 2. A set of better practices capable of reaping the benefit of the new technologies become standard practices that spread to all productive activities and create the innovation framework 3. A new common sense emerges, leading to the definition of a new institutional framework. These three levels correspond to three partially overlapping waves. In order for the full potential of the new paradigm to be realized, it has to reach level 3, the institutional level. Because, each paradigm shift is propagated at these levels, to apprehend the dynamic interaction of technology, organizations and institutions our lectures will integrate the contributions of economics, history, political science and sociology


  • BALLA, Besiana (PhD student)
  • COLIN, Nicolas Y. (The Family)
  • DARCILLON, Thibault (Maitre de conférences)
  • Tran, Laurène (The Family)

Pedagogical format

1/ Group work will be important to prepare for your oral debate. Two of you will debate and one of you will play the role of the moderator. The goal is to improve your public speaking skills both as a speaker and a moderator. 2/ Guest lecturers will be expert in their respective field (venture capital, entrepreneurship or history of postwar economics).

Course validation

1/ Oral debate with another student (15 minutes) about a subject determined at the beginning of the course (40%). 2/ A short (700 words) essay to be turned into a Medium story (50%) with another student. You are assessed on your ability to convey a strong message and inspire your audience/readers. 3/ Oral participation is encouraged and rewarded. Your involvement in the course amounts to 10% of the final grade.


On top of the two assignments mentioned, you will be expected to read between 2 and 5 articles before each session (the articles will be sent via email at least one week in advance).

Required reading

  • Perez, C., 2003. Technological revolutions and financial capital. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Lazonick, W., 2009. Sustainable prosperity in the new economy?: Business organization and high-tech employment in the United States. WE Upjohn Institute.
  • Janeway, W.H., 2018. Doing capitalism in the innovation economy:Reconfiguring the Three-Player Game between Markets, Speculators and the State, 2nd edition
  • Arthur, W.B., 2009. The nature of technology: What it is and how it evolves. Simon and Schuster.

Additional required reading

  • O'Reilly, T., 2017. WTF?: What's the Future and why It's Up to Us. Random House.
  • Colin, N., 2018. Hedge: A Greater Safety Net for the Entrepreneurial Age. Family Stories.