Originally published as ”Las Nuevas Tecnologías, una Visión de Conjunto” in Carlos Ominami ed., (1986) La Tercera Revolución Industrial: Impactos Internacionales del Actual Viraje Tecnológico, RIAL,Grupo Editor Latinoamericano, Buenos Aires, pp. 43-90 ISBN : 950-9432-65-2
Also published en Estudios Internacionales, Año XIX, Oct.-Dic. 1986 No.76, pp. 420-459, Santiago de Chile
English translation by the author
Originally published in Spanish, this article was written during the period that Perez was working as a consultant to various ministries of science, technology and industry in Venezuela and other Latin American countries. As with “Microelectronics, Long Waves and Technical Change: New Perspectives for Developing Countries”, [internal link] this paper reflects her studies on the impact of the information revolution on opportunities for developing countries. Here her intended focus is on the forecasting of technical change in relation to development policy. Noting that, with each major shift in technology, what is technologically feasible is far greater than what is socially acceptable, which is also greater than the economically profitable, Perez stresses the need to study the economic and social forces that drive and influence technical change in order to forecast usefully.
Written as ‘an attempt in that direction’, what is perhaps most interesting for readers today – beyond the still valid propositions – is the thirty year period that has passed since the paper was written has validated Perez’ championing of the lessons to be gleaned from history. Based on her studies of economic and social forces alongside technical change, she predicts new parameters for innovation trajectories, new concepts for production best practice and new models for managerial efficiency that have now come into niche or even common usage: from recycling and diversification to design as an integral part of production, the notion of the firm as an integrated network – and even, despite writing before the pre-commercialisation of the internet, a recognition that supply would be adapted to the shape of demand, with the ‘on line’ adjustment of production accordingly. Perez also foresees the use of alternative energies and suggests that the next technological convergence (following ICT) may be that of biotechnology.