[artinfo] fwd: the information society at the crossroads
geert at xs4all.nl
Mon Sep 22 09:38:10 CEST 2014
let me draw your attention to a conference we are preparing for june
3-7, 2015, in vienna. the theme is "the information society at the
crossroads - response and responsibility of the sciences of
information". the conference style is a summit, albeit a democratical
one, of organisations and networks and individual people concerned.
look at summit.is4is.org. there you will find the call for participation.
i'm happy to receive comments and suggestions,
ao.univ.prof. dr. wolfgang hofkirchner
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR INFORMATION STUDIES
gobergasse 1, 1130 wien
+43 1 58801 18730 (no voicemail)
September 15, 2014
"hello world!" is the default form of address the blog software at
hand is suggesting to me. at first glance, my reaction would be to
refuse that term and delete it. won't it tempt me to become
presumptuous? shouldn't i better be more humble and aware of
critiques that my post would add to an endless flood of information
(meaningless or meaningful) just because of my personal demand for
given, what i want to call for here, however, i feel rather inclined
to leave it as it is (though with a certain sense of irony). -
anyway, the upcoming summit intends
* to focus on the state of the world (we have a choice
between a possible breakdown and a needed breakthrough)
* to gather as many concerned world-wide as we can and, eventually,
* to form a "coalition of the willing" (sorry for that
plagiarism - another irony) to contribute to a change (to the
worldwide fulfilment of a sustainable information society).
of course, that is ambitious and demanding but - i hope you will
agree - it is not pretentious and not a sectarian claim.
pls, have a look at this call for participation. judge by yourself. i
hope to be able to welcome you to our initiative.
Call for participation
ISIS Summit Vienna 2015
THE INFORMATION SOCIETY AT THE CROSSROADS
Response and Responsibility of the Sciences of Information
Vienna University of Technology, June 3-7, 2015
The information society has come with a promise - the promise, with
the help of technology, to restore information as a commons:
generated and utilised by everyone; for the benefit of every single
person and all humanity; unfettered, empowering the people, truthful
and reasonable, enabling constructive ways of living and a proper
understanding of the environment.
The promise has not yet proven true. Instead, we face trends towards
the commercialisation and commoditisation of all information; towards
the totalisation of surveillance and the extension of the battlefield
to civil society through information warfare; towards disinfotainment
overflow; towards a collapse of the technological civilisation itself
as a consequence of the vulnerability of information networks and, in
the most general terms, as a consequence of ignorance of the
fundamental information processes at work not only in natural systems
but also in social and artificial systems.
The social and technological innovations that are intended to boost
cognition, communication and co-operation are ambiguous: their
potential to advance information commons is exploited for purposes of
self-aggrandisement rather than concern for the overarching
communities in which every human self is embedded from the family to
world society. Tools - computer and other - are made for profit,
power or predominance; the goal of a flourishing and thriving of
humanity as a whole takes a distant second place, if it runs at all.
Thus, the information society has reached a crossroads: without
significant change, business as usual can even accelerate its
breakdown. A breakthrough to a global, sustainable information
society must establish an information commons as a cornerstone of a
programme for coping with the challenges of the information age.
Critical reflection is a task whose time has come. Today, the
researchers and developers in almost every science study information
processes in one respect or another, whether or not they term it
information. But what is their individual and collective response to
the challenges ahead? And what is their individual and collective
responsibility for the consequences of their findings?
The focus of the reflection of information studies needs to be twofold:
- on the impact of the sciences of information: how can we improve
the design and implementation of social and technological
applications for the advancement of a viable information society and
- on the foundations of the sciences of information: how can we
improve the concepts we use for the study of information at all
levels, from natural information processes to the information society
and information technology, such that they open new vistas that allow
for improved applications?
The International Society for Information Studies calls for a
commitment to an on-going open discussion of all issues related to
the questions named above. The gathering scheduled for June 3-7,
2015, hosted by the Faculty of Informatics at the Vienna University
of Technology during its 200-year anniversary, will comprise
different disciplines, fields of expertise, schools, practitioners
and stakeholders and will provide opportunities for exchanges that
will necessarily be inter- and transdisciplinary.
The aim is to contribute to setting the course for the future
development of the information society in the desired direction by
establishing a platform that facilitates working toward the
construction of information as a commons. The Summit 2015 will be
followed by a Summit 2017.
We invite everybody concerned, professional, layman, public figure;
every research institution, company, civil society organisation; to
participate already by
- suggesting to organise a conference stream, a panel, a paper
session, a workshop or else on their own and take the role of a
co-initiator or co-organiser;
- supporting the meeting as a partner organisation;
- becoming a sponsor of the event.
Topics to be suggested are expected to highlight constraints and
enablements of developing human collective intelligence and wisdom to
such an extent that the transformation into (a new) world society can
be sustained. They may range from
- the evolution of information processes in nature to
- problems of information friction in scientific-technological,
environmental and social (economic, political, cultural) realms.
Send your proposal to summit at is4is.org, in case of co-initiating or
co-organisation before 17th of November, 2014. We will contact you
and look forward to entering into co-operation with you.
Science and technology are part of the problem. But the sciences of
information are also part of the solution!
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