In the coming years, biodigital technologies could be woven into our lives in the way that digital technologies are now. Biological and digital systems are converging, and could change the way we work, live, and even evolve as a species. More than a technological change, this biodigital convergence may transform the way we understand ourselves and cause us to redefine what we consider human or natural.
Biodigital convergence may profoundly impact our economy, our ecosystems, and our society. Being prepared to support it, while managing its risks with care and sensitivity, will shape the way we navigate social and ethical considerations, as well as guide policy and governance conversations.
Guided by its mandate, Policy Horizons Canada (Policy Horizons) intends to start an informed and meaningful dialogue about plausible futures for biodigital convergence and the policy questions that may arise. In this initial paper, we define and explore biodigital convergence – why it is important to explore now, its characteristics, what new capabilities could arise from it, and some initial policy implications. We want to engage with a broad spectrum of partners and stakeholders on what our biodigital future might look like, how this convergence might affect sectors and industries, and how our relationships with technology, nature, and even life itself could evolve.
We welcome your comments and participation, and look forward to diving more deeply into the questions raised in this paper.
Kristel Van der Elst Director General Policy Horizons Canada