From mE to yoU?

Last week the Swedish Parliament organised a seminar focusing on IT in the future. I rather liked the emphasis Professor Kia Höök put on the importance of having a vision for what we would like to use the technology for. She used Japan as an example, who has been very active in formulating their u-Japan strategy, although it contains some ideas that are very far from what I believe the majority of Swedish citizens would like.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) is trying to contribute to the understanding of what the new Internet technology can bring. Last year they launched the Internet Foresight project, with the purpose of identifying central questions and come with suggestions for how they can be addressed to ensure that Sweden continues to be a leading Internet nation.

The European Union is of course also focusing on ICT in their research programs. ICT are considered critical to improve the competitiveness of European industry and to meet the demands of its society and economy. More specifically it can have an impact on productivity and innovation, modernisation of public services, and advance science and technology.

My own contribution to this topic is a paper called “A Software Platform for Societal Entrepreneurship” that I will present at a conference called Positive Design. It takes place in April 3-5 in Monterrey, Mexico. My idea is based on the concept my colleague Helena Kovács developed in the Societal Entrepreneurship Project last year, namely “the researcher as societal entrepreneur and the societal entrepreneur as researcher”. My proposition is to use Web 2.0 technology to develop a platform for services that can support societal entrepreneurial initiatives. This is, of course, very much related to initiatives such as Google’s Open Social.

I still think that some of the best thinking about the future of society and technology is the trilogy “The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture” by Manuel Castells. I wonder where I put those thick books… and I should read his more recent paper on social uses of wireless communication technology

What would you like to see in your country’s vision for how to use the Internet in the future? Write a comment!

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