The article opposes a naive conception of technology with the emphasis on material artifacts and supports the view that the "real world of technology" and its problems have to be understood in terms of systems. Technology forms a new environment, a shared house in which we all dwell today. From this viewpoint the paper argues about new moral and political responsibilities with which citizens are confronted in the emerging global technical system. It is pointed out that the same processes underlying the technological integration of the world and the globalization of society also seem to awaken new modes of citizenship in a global civil society. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.