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The Impact of the Information Society: empowerment or dis-empowerment?


Marked by various definitions and surrounded by various historically developed theories, the Information Society has been the underpinning term used to fore-mostly define the 20th and 21th century vision of the world. By itself the choice of the two words is already self-explanatory: Information as reflection over data, knowledge and subjects together in combination with the word society as reflection over the today's community or interlinked groups of people.

Various researchers in social sciences tried to define the term by looking towards the past. All of them are looking for rational events or occurrences, because of which the Information Society has became a synonym of the today's people reality. Taking rather the approach of looking in the presence and anticipating the future, we have to change our motivation when we speak about the impact of and over the information society.

 

It is not a novelty that the ICT innovation is the driver of the information society.

Technological innovations are a natural prerequisite for changing the ecosystems and the surrounding environments. By changing the means of communication and the mediums themselves, of course we change the 'frame' in which people live.

The question arising here is not if the demand for improving the human life is directing the innovations or the innovations are the reason for the change in the human life.

The question is what type of influence is there in this two-sided vision of demand-supply model of innovation and how can we work to model it towards the development of the opital combination between society with awareness of its own impact and its placement in a balanced ecosystem.

Is the information society of today existing thanks to the consumer demand for innovation or by the wish to improve the natural rights of every human being to live better? Or in other words is the information society demanding for business innovations or for public welfare innovations?

The research area to be defined from this question is related to the understanding of the innovation drivers and the possibilities to adapt and modify them to the golden middle model of influence and impact of ICT novelties.

The consumer orientated markets started to understand the concept of the sustainable development motivators. But the markets exist thanks to the consumers and it is both responsibility to service and product providers and their users to find the middle in which they are aware of the consequences. Through empowering capital orientated innovation we risk to dis-empower our own right of participation in the process of creation of goods and services, which are supporting the sustainable business models. Turning it the other way around is also crucial: innovation with the pure vision of creation of public sector tools - responsibility only of the public authorities, we loose the connection with the citizen by giving him the right to step back from his responsibility to be a key stakeholder in the change-making process in improving the society life and standards. It is a common responsibility and duty for the whole information society members to be involved within the process of decision-making and actually using the creations of that process.

Presented at the Future Internet Assembly, Poznan, Poland · 25th October 2011 · 15:00-17:00

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