I.T. Revolutions 2008
December 17-19, 2008 Venice, Italy
General Chair Mihaela Ulieru,
Canada Research Chair in Adaptive Information Infrastructures for the eSociety
Mitigating Paradox at the eSociety Tipping Point
In the first two decades of the past Century, having as driving factor the automobile and its mass production, the command economy has radically changed our lifestyles, enabling the creation of offices, suburbs, fast food restaurants and unified school districts. With the Internet as driving factor, socio-technical and industrial eNetworked ecosystems are about to change our lives again in these two decades of the 21st Century, and we are just approaching the tipping point. As we have just reached the point where the tremendous changes fueled by concerted efforts in Information Communication Technologies (ICT) research are unraveling the old society this is creating a lot of discomfort, confusion and sometimes opposition from the traditional mainstream. This disconnect is being even more deepened by the rocketing speed of technological ICT advances. As technology is getting ahead of society - the old ways, although still dominant, become more and more dysfunctional and we are experiencing an “Age of Paradox” as the new ways disrupt the way we used to do things and even the way we used to think about the world. Just like the major inventions that shaped past Century were made by 1920 – it is expected that the major inventions that will shape the 21st Century are going to be made by 2020. Thus time is quite ripe to ask ourselves, as we witness how the new ways irreversibly challenge the old: Where are the limits of the impossible? And are we ready to touch them with the same daring attitude which fuels our drive to push continuously the technological frontiers? As premier Conference of the ICST - IT Revolutions will account yearly on the progress made in building critical mass for the radical shift while underlining the major issues and identifying gaps between the traditional and the new ICT driven ways to provide strategic directions in addressing them - thus ensuring a smooth transition towards an IT-driven future. For this first edition we have assembled a brilliant team clustered around major Themes concerned with the disconnect between old and new ways reshaping critical aspects of our world at this turning point – in search for innovative solutions that can capitalize on the impact of the tumultuous transformations. I am certain that you will feel as compelled as we are, to become a part of this quest – thus I invite you to join our concerted efforts and contribute your share to the IT Revolution.
Riding the IT Revolution.
The Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications (ICST) emerged in the past five years as grass roots movement that – through most visionary Conferences and Workshops fostered and incubated groundbreaking contributions to the radical transformations via which the IT revolution is shifting our world from the industrial revolution to the eSociety. A major characteristic of the IT revolution which the ICST is championing internationally is that technology is far ahead of the yet unused potential for innovations – and this is mainly because the traditional ways are so drastically challenged by the novel ways, that at the moment the old acts as a barrier rather than enabler for implementing the technological advances into practice. To mediate this disconnect while embarking responsibly onto the momentum that will be turning the world around, in this first year we need to:
- Evaluate where we are on the path to turnover. As this requires coordinated efforts, government S&T representatives and research funding agencies from all continents will address the major areas of concern in dedicated panels whose deliberations will be published as joint recommendations;
- Ensure a smooth transition. Exploring the core elements needed to encourage sustainable change as new systems are introduced and grounded in the practice environment. Motivational factors, incentives to embrace the change as well as alignment with the societal needs will be debated in panels and workshops;
- Point to the Future. Foresight presentations from most visionary contributors to the major areas will push the limits of the achievable through keynotes and position papers that underline factors enabling the IT revolution to redesign the world economy and society.