Information society

Defining internet universality indicators: Participate in the first phase of the online consultation!
Defining internet universality indicators: Participate in the first phase of the online consultation! 22 June 2017

In 2015, UNESCO put the concept of “Internet Universality” at the heart of its work to promote an internet that works for all. Internet Universality points to four “fundamental norms that have been embodied in the broad evolution of the Internet to date, and which provide a comprehensive way to understand how multiple different aspects are part of a wider whole.” These norms – known for short as the ROAM principles – are concerned with: Rights (R) Openness (O) Accessibility (A) Mu...

Inside the Information Society: Jobs and employment policies in the digital age
Inside the Information Society: Jobs and employment policies in the digital age 11 December 2018 David Souter

Last week I wrote about some of the policy and regulatory issues that arise from the accelerating trend towards a digital society and new technologies such as artificial intelligence. This week some thoughts about employment issues that arise from that same trend: issues that are increasingly being discussed but on which we have very little evidence to base conclusions. Visions of the future As often, visions of the future are divided between optimists and pessimists. Where employment is...

Inside the Information Society: Making policy for the digital age
Inside the Information Society: Making policy for the digital age 03 December 2018 David Souter

Some people view the future with excitement. Others look on it in trepidation. That’s especially so as we accelerate towards a digital society.   To one side, cyber-optimists imagine a world in which technology cures all our ills and illnesses (some even think that it might conquer death). To the other, cyber-pessimists fear one in which we lose control to our digital crea...

UNESCO’s IPDC gives go ahead for Internet Universality Indicators
UNESCO’s IPDC gives go ahead for Internet Universality Indicators 27 November 2018 UNESCO

“The project to develop Internet Universality Indicators is at the very heart of UNESCO’s mandate. It is one of the best examples of UNESCO supporting its Member States in addressing digital gaps and contributing to sustainable development,” commented the Representative of Sweden, one of the donors of the project, at the 31st session of the IPDC (International Programme for Development of...

Inside the Information Society: A new tool for measuring the internet
Inside the Information Society: A new tool for measuring the internet 26 November 2018 David Souter

It’s been a busy month of international meetings around ICTs and internet.   The ITU - the International Telecommunication Union – held a Plenipotentiary Conference in Dubai, agreeing its agenda for the next four years. The thirteenth annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held at UNESCO’s conference in Paris. More on the latter, at least, in a later post.   But anothe...

Inside the Information Society: What happened to those liberal hopes?
Inside the Information Society: What happened to those liberal hopes? 30 October 2018 David Souter

Twenty years ago, the internet was expected to advance the causes of democracy and human rights. But is it turning out that way? The world today is less liberal than it was back then. What’s happening? Old expectations Let’s go back twenty years or so, when the internet was becoming widespread in the North, more available in the South, and widely seen as a source of new hope ...

UNESCO: Open Forum on "Measuring a free, open, rights based and inclusive internet"
UNESCO: Open Forum on "Measuring a free, open, rights based and inclusive internet" 18 October 2018 UNESCO

Republished from UNESCO website: Having completed a two-year global multi-stakeholder consultation process on defining Internet Universality Indicators including one workshop discussion conducted at IGF 2017, UNESCO takes the occasion to present the final outcome of the indicators framework and engage further with IGF stakeholders on how to promote R.O.A.M principles (Rights, Openness, Accessib...

Inside the Information Society: Breaking the news
Inside the Information Society: Breaking the news 16 October 2018 David Souter

Last time I wrote about the (unexpected) resilience of the book in digital times. Far from dying out, book sales are currently reviving. But what about those other icons of the print age, newspapers? What’s happening to them, and does it matter? Newspapers, many people say, face a ‘perfect storm’, a crisis whose multiple aspects combine and reinforce one another to create a...

Inside the Information Society: What about books?
Inside the Information Society: What about books? 03 October 2018 David Souter

Twenty years ago, as the internet took off, a lot of people thought the days of books were numbered. The very first issue of the journal info, for example, back in 1999, carried an article on ‘The Dim Future of the Book’ by American academic Eli Noam, which argued that:  Books were merely the receptacle [of content], the transmission vehicle, the storage bin. A new and creati...

Inside the Information Society: Naming the Information Society
Inside the Information Society: Naming the Information Society 25 September 2018 David Souter

The names that we give things make us think about them in a certain way. Sometimes that's valid; sometimes deceptive. Sometimes we end up using terms that are no longer relevant. Some thoughts this week on some of the names we've given phenomena in the world of ICTs - and whether what we mean by the biggest term of all (the 'Information Society') is changing or should change. Many wor...

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