Symposium: “Internet-driven Developments: Structural Changes and Tipping Points


Symposium on December 6-8, 2012 at Harvard University that brings together a diverse group of international collaborators on Internet and society issues to explore mutual interests and possibilities for future cooperation under the umbrella topic “Internet-driven Developments: Structural Changes and Tipping Points.” The gathering will serve to strengthen existing relationships while incubating new ones, among institutions and individuals around the world.

Initial contributors to this highly interactive and participatory meeting include organizations that have partnered in the past. Co-hosts of the meeting are the Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society in Berlin, the Centre for Internet and Society Bangalore, the Center for Technology & Society at the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School, KEIO University SFC, the MIT Media Lab and its Center for Civic Media, the NEXA Center for Internet & Society, and the Berkman Center.

Representatives from other research centers and related stakeholders focused on Internet and society issues will join us at the meeting. Committed to the principles of openness, inclusion and diversity, the co-hosts hope that organizations and individuals from around the world may elect to participate in and contribute to the emerging network over time, leveraging existing or future collaborations with initial network participants as a pragmatic starting point, and aiming to further geographic diversity as well as varied views and areas of expertise.

The topic of “Structural Changes and Tipping Points” is intended to provide a conceptual lens for the meeting to enable connections between wide-ranging research areas and interests of symposium participants and to facilitate ideas for future collaborations. With this goal in mind, the event will be driven by two overarching questions:
  • What are the structural shifts (as opposed to hype, fashion, or spikes), from a societal, economic, legal, and educational perspective, promoted by the Internet and related technological advancements?
  • What are the tipping points and other forces that have catalyzed these structural changes— including the actions of individuals (such as users, citizens, policy makers, academics, and activists) and institutions (such as government, academia, business, and civil society/advocacy organizations)?
  • On behalf of the group of international co-hosts,

    Urs Gasser
    Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

    Wolfgang Schulz
    Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society at Humboldt University

    Nishant Shah
    Centre for Internet and Society Bangalore

    Ronaldo Lemos
    Center for Technology & Society at the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School

    Catharina Maracke
    KEIO University SFC

    Joi Ito
    MIT Media Lab

    Ethan Zuckerman
    MIT Center for Civic Media

    Juan Carlos de Martin
    NEXA Center for Internet & Society, Politecnico di Torino

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