Jul 152012

On a snowy weekend in February 2012, members and friends of IFIP WG9.2 met to debate social accountability aspects of ICT infrastructures and society. The intention was to prepare participants for more in-depth discussions primed to take place at the Human Choice and Computing 10 (HCC10) conference, due to take place in Amsterdam on September 27/28 2012. [1]

Over a dozen persons braved the wintry weather to attend. Participants came from as far afield as Finland and the United States of America. Others were indeed “local” to the United Kingdom. Speakers included Catherine Flick and Don Gotterbarn, both from De Montfort University, UK; Kai Kimppa from Turku University, Finland; Richard Taylor of the International Baccalaureate; Anna Vartapetience, Surrey University UK; and Diane Whitehouse, Chair of the group.

While the workshop started with a global overview and insights from industry, it narrowed its scope to more case-specific examples drawn from eGovernment, eHealth and eIdentity.

Towards the end of the day, the door was opened to a wide-ranging discussion on how social responsibility in the information society could be encouraged. The focus was on the kinds of education that should be available in both secondary and tertiary education. To quote Richard Taylor (International Baccalaureate), a major challenge is that while:

“[U]niversity courses such as those in Social Informatics have managed to keep pace with … [the] rapid evolution of information and communication technologies and their societal impacts, … those within the secondary education sector or the workplace have not, potentially creating a knowledge gap for tomorrow’s policy makers.”

The challenge was raised of precisely how to develop or to pilot what skills might be needed by the “socially accountable, resilient, digitally wise (and/or media wise) citizen of the future”.

 Posted by at 12:58 pm

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