More than wires: measuring the Information Society

On May 2, 2012, I was at UOC headquarters in Seville, Spain, speaking on the [sic] Debating the trends on the Information and Knowledge Society.

The idea of my speech in the session — which I shared with Marc Bogdanowicz — was to perform a quick overview of how the development of the Information Society has been measured in the last 20 years and how the design of these measurements inevitably conditions (or just determines) the design of policies that would come after measurement.

In a nutshell, what was presented is that governments, in general, have focused on infrastructures and what is related to them (infrastructure level of usage, the ICT sector and some regulation of the ICT sector market). And, on the other hand, citizens (in fact, customers) demand a sufficient supply of content and services at affordable cost.

But, it does seem that the long term is missing in both approaches. Besides daily usage or investment, it looks that especially policies focusing in the long term and the strategic level are totally non existent and, thus, we are riding the change but not levering the transforming potential of ICTs. And digital skills might be the what could fill the gap between simple adoption to sheer transformation.

Some examples in the context of Spanish politics/policies were provided at the end in the field of institutional design, education and ICT, open government and teleworking.

More than wires: measuring the Information Society

Some bibliography on the topic

Peña-López, I. (2010). “Towards a comprehensive model of the digital economy”. In
Proceedings of ICTD 2010. 4th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development. London: IEEE.
Peña-López, I. (2009). “Hacia un modelo integral de la Economía Digital”. In
Libro de Comunicaciones de la II Conferencia Internacional Brecha Digital e Inclusión Social. Comunicación presentada en la II Conferencia Internacional Brecha Digital e Inclusión Social, 28-30 de Octubre de 2009. Leganés: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

Information Society: where to? with whom? by Marc Bogdanowicz

Discussion

Conference series on trends in the Information and Knowledge Society

Logo of the [SIC] conference series

(crossposted from Debates sobre tendencias de la Sociedad de la Información y el Conocimiento).

With the goal to analyse and propose a debate on the nature and depth of this new framework of social relationships, the challenges it entails, for example, from the point of view of social inclusion, or opportunities from the perspective of health systems, social participation and education a series of conferences has been planned in Seville (Spain): [sic]*: Conference series on trends in the Information and Knowledge Society

The conferences are made up by six debates, and I am taking part in two of them:

1. Introductory session. 18 april 2012.

  • Topics: information society, network society and technological revolution, how ICTs have penetrated into European, Spanish and Andalousian societies, and what are or what should be the public policies in this area.
  • Participants: Eva Piñar, General Director of Technological and Information Society services at the Andalousian government; Ramón Compañó, programme coordinator at IPTS-JCR; Josep Lladós, director of the PhD on Information and Knowledge Society at UOC.

2. Progressing towards the Information Society. 2 may 2012.

  • Topics: present of the implementation of ICT at different levels: infrastructure, knowledge economy, legal framework, content and services. And delving into the economic dimension of the information society: business, resources, innovation, etc..
  • Participants: Ismael Peña-López, professor a the School of Law and Political Science at UOC; Marc Bogdanowic, leader of the Information Society Unit at IPTS-JCR.

3. Technological prospective. 16 may 2012.

  • Topics: what will be the future technologies, usage standards, protocols, etc..
  • Participants: César Córcoles, professor at the School of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunication at UOC; a TBC representative from IPTS.

4. ICT and Education. 6 june 2012.

  • Topics: aspects of the relationship between training and ICT, how educational technology is already helping to change the way it delivers training, how can ICT help in shaping tomorrow’s education.
  • Participants: Magí Almirall, director of the Office of Learning Technologies at UOC; Yves Punie, senior scientist at the Information Society Unit at IPTS-JCR.

5. ICT for Health. 20 june 2012.

6. ICT and citizen participation. 4 july 2012.

  • Topics: how ICT have changed the relationship between citizens and the government, what are the new forms of participation based on the use of ICT, Transparency, e-government, etc.
  • Participants: Ismael Peña-López, professor a the School of Law and Political Science at UOC; Gianluca Misuraca, researcher at the IPTS-JCR.

The [sic]*: Conference series on trends in the Information and Knowledge Society is organized by the General directorate of Technological and Information Society services of the Andalousian Government, the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies of the European Commission, and the office in Seville of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).

I want to thank Eva Piñar and Alfredo Charques both for the initiative to organize the conference — when reflecting on what kind of Information Society we want is so necessary — and, of course, for inviting me to take part in it.