<videovortex> The Habitat of Information: Social and Organizational Consequences of Information Growth

Jose-Carlos Mariategui J.Mariategui at lse.ac.uk
Mon Feb 11 18:09:23 CET 2008

8th Social Study of ICT Workshop

Information Systems and Innovation Group,

Department of Management,

London School of Economics and Political Science

The Habitat of Information: Social and Organizational Consequences of  
Information Growth

Friday 25th of April, 2008

The workshop will take place in the Hong Kong Theatre, Ground Floor,  
Clement House, LSE


Information growth is a distinctive phenomenon of the late 20th and  
early 21st century. Large varieties of information are currently  
produced and circulated, in a rapidly increasing scale, across the  
various institutional domains of contemporary societies. Technical and  
administrative innovations have been expanding the interoperable  
platforms that make possible the development and diffusion of  
information within and across systems and organizations. At the same  
time, a range of devices from desktop computing to cell phones and  
digital cameras have been spreading across the population, making  
individuals and social groups important producers and consumers of  
information. A pivotal development has been the emergence, expansion  
and deepening involvement of the internet in social and economic life.

Taken together, these developments establish a new socio-economic  
environment in which information-based operations, and information  
goods and services acquire crucial importance. This is clearly shown  
in the rapid ascent to economic dominance of internet-based companies  
that demonstrate superior data editing and information management  
strategies. New commercial possibilities steadily develop around the  
production, ordering and distribution of information, as data become  
interoperable across sources and older forms of information (e.g.  
image, text and sound) are brought to bear upon one another. But  
information growth has wider social implications as well. The  
involvement of information in every walk of life redefines the  
relationship between information and reality, and reshapes the social  
practices through which information is stored, retrieved, understood,  
disseminated and remembered. Increasingly, information mediates  
between humans and reality. In this context, the activities of  
ordering, making sense, evaluating, navigating  and acting upon  
information step onto the centre-stage of contemporary life, impinging  
upon skill profiles and personal choices. They often do so under  
conditions in which the established boundaries between individuals and  
institutions are rendered shifting and negotiable.

There is a growing awareness of the current information growth  
dynamics and the emerging information habitat. However, the recent  
character of the phenomenon makes the social and economic implications  
of these dynamics not well understood. The 8th Social Study of ICT  
workshop brings together a number of prominent scholars and  
practitioners whose work and experience help illuminate the relevant  


8.30-9.15            Registration

9.15                        Welcome

Morning Session

9.45 – 10.45            Keynote: Information Growth and the Texture of  

Albert Borgmann, Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of  

10.45 – 11.00            Coffee Break

11.00 – 12.00            The Expanding Information Universe

John Gantz , Chief Research Officer and Senior Vice President of IDC –  
International Data Corporation.

12.00 – 13.00            Panel on the Organizational Consequences of  
Information Growth

This panel will address how companies and organizations are managing  
their information resources. Which strategies do they develop to cope  
with information growth and the increasing involvement of information  
in organizational operations? Which new practices, skills and roles  
emerge in today's information-intensive organizations and industries?

Chair: Dr. Carsten Sorensen, Information Systems and Innovation Group,  
Department of Management, London School of Economics.

Panel Participants:

- Azeem Azhar, Head of Innovation, Reuters.

- James Backhouse, Reader, Information Systems and Innovation Group,  
Department of Management, London School of Economics.

- Richard Boulderstone, Director of eStrategy, The British Library.

- Ole Hanseth, Professor, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo.

13.00 – 14.30                        Lunch

Afternoon Session

14.30 – 15.30            Living in Ephemeria: On the Short-lived and  
Disposable Character of Information

Jannis Kallinikos, Professor, Information Systems and Innovation  
Group, Department of Management, London School of Economics.

15.30 – 16.30              The Fog of Data: Memory, the Past and  

Geoffrey Bowker, Professor and Director of the Center for Science,  
Technology and Society, University of California, Santa Clara.

16.30 – 17.00            Coffee Break

17.00 – 18.00            Panel on Information, Memory, and Culture

The panel will address the contrast between, on the one hand, the  
durability of technological information (e.g. databases) and, on the  
other hand, the short lifespan of information and its rapidly  
evaporating value (e.g. global stock markets). Information growth is  
intimately tied to the management of time and the proliferation of  
events in contemporary life. In this respect, it is as much an  
instrumental as a cultural phenomenon.

Chair: Giovan Francesco Lanzara, Professor, Department of Organization  
and Political Systems, University of Bologna, Italy.

Panel Participants:

- Elena Espósito, Associate Professor, Faculty of Communication  
Science, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.

- Mireille Hildebrandt, Associate Professor, Law Faculty, Erasmus  
University Rotterdam, Free University Brussels.

- Lev Manovich, Associate Professor, Visual Arts Department,  
University of California, San Diego, California.

- Felix Stadler, Senior Lecturer, Media Arts Program, Zurich  
University of the Arts.

18.00-18.15 Final Remarks

  If you are interested in coming please send an email to Frances  
White to reserve a place (F.White at lse.ac.uk ). 

Please access the attached hyperlink for an important electronic communications disclaimer: http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/secretariat/legal/disclaimer.htm
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