Evolving Technologies: Innovation, Competition, and Change

This online course focuses on some of the most critical issues leaders must grasp as we move into a global environment increasingly reshaped by automation, connectivity, ubiquitous knowledge, and technological competition.

At a Glance

Course Date

To be Announced





Registration Deadline

To be Announced


This online course focuses on some of the most critical issues leaders must grasp as we move into a global environment increasingly reshaped by automation, connectivity, ubiquitous knowledge, and technological competition. The evolving technologies covered—5G and 6G networks, AI, automation, human enhancement, and more—will continue to change our lives and work in fundamental ways. This course focuses less on how these technologies work and more on why they matter, what to watch for, and how to prepare. What political, economic, and social transformations will this Fourth Industrial Revolution bring, and how do we design policies and systems that will amplify its promise while anticipating and mitigating negative consequences?

Certification will be awarded to participants who complete the minimum course requirements.

What you will learn

  • How major evolving technologies will impact your field over the next five to ten years.
  • What indicators to watch to evaluate the relevance of key technologies and how quickly they are developing.
  • How technology affects great power competition and creates strategic advantage.
  • How the effects of evolving technologies will interact and magnify one other.
  • The larger political, social, economic, and security implications of critical technologies.


Module 1
Technology and Innovation in a Competitive World

  • Analyze U.S., European, and Chinese approaches to innovation and developing new technologies. 
  • Unpack the context of economic and security competition in technology with other nations. 
  • Consider approaches to creating and supporting an innovation workforce. 

Module 2
Networks and Data

  • Explore how networks are likely to evolve in subsequent generations. 
  • Analyze the political, economic, and security impacts that next generation networks may bring. 
  • Assess the future of ubiquitous data collection through next generation networks and its implications for economic and geopolitical competition.
  • Interpret the effects of ubiquitous data collection and availability and the risks it presents as an exploitable resource.

Module 3
Industrial Tech Policy: The Case of Semiconductors

  • Examine the ramifications of industrial policy for geopolitical competition.
  • Analyze the economic considerations surrounding semiconductor manufacturing and supply chains.  
  • Contextualize the importance of the semiconductor industry within U.S.-China security and economic competition. 
  • Extrapolate lessons from semiconductor industrial policy and apply it to other evolving technologies.
  • Discern how international cooperation supports successful industrial policy.

Module 4
AI, Automation, and Human Enhancement

  • Focus on how AI, automation, and human enhancement may affect human activity and the way we think about the future.
  • Consider the ethical, political, and security implications of these technologies.
  • Assess the potential economic and societal impacts of new technologies, balancing opportunities and risks. 

Module 5
Tech Governance and the Future of Society

  • Compare how different approaches to the governance and regulation of technology can foster or stifle innovation.
  • Assess how competing regulatory frameworks can impact users everywhere.
  • Foresee the challenges that technology can create for governance.
  • Analyze current opportunities for global collaboration on tech governance.


The course will be valuable to professionals across a variety of fields—government, nonprofit, or corporate—who are seeking a better understanding of how critical evolving technologies will impact their field. No technical background is necessary. Registrants may join the course as individuals or as part of a team of colleagues. While the primary policy focus will be on the U.S., EU, and China, the course is open to interested participants from around the globe.

How to Register

Applications for the next cohort will open soon. The online application includes a short entry form, statement of interest, brief bio, and resume. Please note that spaces are limited and the course may fill before the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Benefits of CSIS Online Education

  • Critical content: Get top-level analysis on timely issues. Dive deeper with a library of additional resources and revisit the course for updates.
  • Flexible course structure: Learn at your own pace in your environment. Take the course with the cohort over five weeks or do it on your own schedule and retain course access up to three months.
  • Live weekly seminars: Connect directly with leading policy experts in Washington and beyond and ask the questions that matter most to you.
  • Interactive activities and projects: Actively synthesize and apply course insights to your own field.
  •  Team-based platform: Work on real-world applications of course content in shared workspaces with colleagues, new connections, or on your own.
  • Facilitated networking: Meet global participants from a variety of fields and make professional connections through intentional and effective collaborative learning design.


For more information on the course, please contact Barbara Petzen, Director of Learning Experiencesat bpetzen@csis.org.

James Andrew Lewis
Senior Vice President; Pritzker Chair; and Director, Strategic Technologies Program