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IIS co-organized the international transdisciplinary conference "The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected: the User and the Future of Information and Communication Technologies"

The international transdisciplinary conference "The Good, the Bad and the Unexpected: the User and the Future of Information and Communication Technologies" was held on 23-25 May 2007 in Moscow at the premises of the Academy of National Economy at the Government of the Russian Federation.

This conference was organized by the COST 298 network Participation in the Broadband Society, the successor to COST actions 269 and 248. The conference was a follow up to the conference The Good, the Bad and the Irrelevant held in Helsinki in September 2003. COST 298 is an action in the domain Information and Communication Technologies of COST, an intergovernmental framework for European Co-operation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research. In COST 298 European scientists from telecommunication research departments, universities and operators together with independent consultants collaborate in cross-disciplinary groups to analyse the social dimensions of peoples relationships to information and communication technologies (ICTs).

A number of communities have an interest in and perspectives on the relationship between people and ICTs. These include industry, academia, designers, policy makers and other institutions. The goal of this conference was to encourage and facilitate a dialogue between these communities in order to promote transdisciplinary insights that can enhance the process by which these technologies are shaped.

The main objective of the conference is to create new knowledge about users creativity and facilitate their empowerment in a broadband information society. This knowledge is crucial in order to strengthen the European Research Area. Moreover, this requires an examination of the factors that can both constrain and enhance users abilities to shape and use ICTs.

110 participants from 25 countries of Europe and other regions of the world participated in the conference scientists and researchers, professors and postgraduate students, representatives of government and civil society, ICT and software developers. The conference aimed at encouraging and facilitating a dialogue between these communities in order to promote transdisciplinary insights that can enhance the process by which these technologies are shaped.

The conference was be organised around the following four themes or strands:

  • Users as innovators
  • Humans as eActors
  • The multiple cultures of the Information Society 
  • Future directions

The participants strove to present their topic from a human-centric point of view as opposed to a technology-, product- or business-centric one, and to present their topic in a language that attempts to transcend disciplinary boundaries, a language that non-experts can also understand, and to not only report on their work, but also to engage in the conference debate which aims to develop ways to understand the interests of people and society, to evaluate developments against such an evolving understanding, and to chart interesting and desirable future directions.

The emphasis of this event was on networking and promoting a dialogue with colleagues from around Europe and the rest of the world.

In total, the conference included 2 plenary sessions, 2 round tables and 29 thematic sessions. At the end, an announcement on the Young Researchers Award was made by the conference organizers.

Institute of the Information Society and the Academy of National Economy at the Government of the Russian Federation were the local organizers of the conference.

A number of IIS representatives contributed to the conference content:

Please follow the conference web-site at http://conference.cost298.org/ to learn more about its participants and papers.


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