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Towards a Global Network of Internet and Society Centers

06 February 2013

In collaboration with seven research centers for Internet and society from all around the world, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute recently participated in and co-hosted the “Symposium on Internet-Driven Developments: Structural Changes and Tipping Points” at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society in Boston. The event concluded with a final report, aimed to collate and coordinate ideas for further cooperations, shared curricula and the development of the vision for a global network of Internet and society centers.

The Institute is particularly grateful and proud to be a part of this international development, since almost all research on the Internet and interdependences of digital and analogue spheres can only gain significant insights if approached in a global, interdisciplinary manner. The open, collaborative character of the ongoing dialogue is eminently suitable for this venture and we are very much looking forward to working and taking part in this community.

More from the Berkman Center for Internet & Society:

Symposium on Internet-Driven Developments: Structural Changes and Tipping Points

Towards a Global Network of Internet and Society Centers

Together with seven international co-hosts, on December 6-8, 2012, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society convened an international Symposium on Internet-Driven Developments: Structural Changes and Tipping Points (SCTP). The gathering brought together representatives from Internet and society research centers located in 22 countries across 5 continents. This highly collaborative and participatory event marked the launch of a nascent global network of interdisciplinary centers with a focus on Internet and society.

In addition to encouraging participants to build on past cooperative efforts and expand existing partnerships, the December 2012 gathering yielded a number of ideas for next steps and collaborative projects that are summarized in the final report. Harvard Law School has also published information about this exciting event.

Moving forward, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society in Berlin has kindly agreed to work closely with the Berkman team and the other co-hosts to facilitate the next round of conversations and work hand-in-hand with participants to advance ideas surfaced at the SCTP Symposium. The ongoing dialogue, which will involve additional organizations, will focus on both specific activities for organizations within the network and the global vision for the network as a whole.

Symposium co-hosts:

The Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society (Manager of the Network of Centers: Dr. Mayte Peters,

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society (Liaison: Urs Gasser,

The Centre for Internet and Society Bangalore (Liaison: Nishant Shah)

The Center for Technology & Society at the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School (Liaison: Ronaldo Lemos)

KEIO University SFC (Liaison: Catharina Maracke)

The MIT Media Lab (Liaison: Joi Ito)

The MIT Center for Civic Media (Liaison: Ethan Zuckerman)

The NEXA Center for Internet & Society at Politecnico di Torino (Liaison: Juan Carlos de Martin)

The gathering was made possible with the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Martin Pleiss

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