Geert Lovink on Sun, 21 Sep 2014 21:02:18 +0200 (CEST)

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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 â 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 there you will find the call for participation. 

i'm happy to receive comments and suggestions, dr. wolfgang hofkirchner

gobergasse 1, 1130 wien

+43 1 58801 18730 (no voicemail)


Hello world!

Posted on September 15, 2014 by administrator â No Comments â
âhello world!â 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. wonât it tempt me to become presumptuous? shouldnât 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 attention?

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). â anyway, the upcoming summit intends

	â to focus on the state of the world (we have a choice between a possible breakdown and a needed breakthrough)
	â to gather as many concerned world-wide as we can and, eventually,
	â to form a âcoalition of the willingâ (sorry for that plagiarism â another irony) to contribute to a change (to the worldwide fulfilment of a sustainable information society).
of course, that is ambitious and demanding but â i hope you will agree â 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

Response and Responsibility of the Sciences of Information

Vienna University of Technology, June 3-7, 2015

The information society has come with a promise â 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 â computer and other â 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:

â 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 individual autonomy?

â 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

â 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;

â supporting the meeting as a partner organisation;

â 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

â the evolution of information processes in nature to

â problems of information friction in scientific-technological, environmental and social (economic, political, cultural) realms.

Send your proposal to, 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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