In recent years, the Internet and other information and communication technologies have had great impacts on almost all aspects of human life, locally and globally. The extant of these impacts can be seen in the ubiquity of the use of the prefix 'e-', as in e-commerce, e-business, e-government, e-democracy, e-science, e-learning, e-entertainment and so on.
Thanks to the cheaper prices and ease of use of these technologies, more and more people are able to access digital contents, as part of a mass audience, and more and more people are able to create and publish content off their own initiative. The Web has moved from being a one-way communication channel extending traditional media, to a complex "peer-to-peer" communication space with a blurred author/audience distinction and new ways to create, share and use knowledge in a social way. This establishes new global fora, started by a few, and sustained by millions of local acts
This change of paradigm is currently profoundly transforming most areas of our lives: our interactions with other people, our relationships, ways of gathering, creating and disseminating information, ways of developing social norms, opinions, attitudes and even legal aspects as well as ways of working and doing business. It also raises a strong need for theoretical, empirical and applied studies related to how people may interact on the Web, how they actually do so and what new possibilities and challenges are emerging in the individual, business and technology dimensions.
It is not the first time in the history of social media that a new technology becomes suddenly available to a wider group of people due to a specific social, economical and historical context. The last time something similar happened, the availability and diffusion of the printing press, according to many authors, the opportunities for the rise of modern society emerged.
We are probably facing a similar new extraordinary change that we can barely describe today.
According to the law of accelerated return identified by Ray Kurzweil, this change is taking place at a much faster speed than before. This is a major challenge for social science in a world where 'internet time' now runs at a clock speed several orders of magnitude faster than that of academic research.
In order to explore these possibilities and tackle the challenges, a more interdisciplinary scientific approach is required.
The visionary founding fathers of cybernetics and systems theory urged for this new vision of the sciences as soon as they started working on teleological machines interacting with human beings during the Second World War. Not surprisingly, today, Sir Tim Berners Lee (the inventor of the World Wide Web) is developing a vision for new field of interdisciplinary study called Web Science.
The goal of this conference is therefore to bring researchers and practitioners together to explore within a sociocybernetic approach the issues and challenges related to social aspects of the new communication technologies and especially the Web.
Possible topics should include, but are not limited to:
- Local issues with respect to a particular geographical region, political entity or cultural or ethnic group;
- Global issues affecting all mankind in the 21st century;
- Emerging technologies and the link between the micro and macro levels of individual actors and social institutions, respectively;
- Social systems and economic models of the web;
- Y Generation and participation on the web (politics, business and entertainment);
- Culture, knowledge and social impact of the Semantic web;
- e-Social Science;
- Cyberculture, knowledge and local communities;
- Teaching the digital natives in networked space;
- The public/private distinction on the Internet;
- Cybernetics and Web Science;
- Social capital in social network sites (SNSs).
Papers with a strong sociocybernetic orientation addressing other topics (conceptual, methodological, practical) are also welcomed.
ABSTRACTS AND THE REVIEW PROCESS
Please submit a 500 to 1000 word detailed abstract for the review process and for assignment to a particular session. In addition, 250 word regular abstracts are needed for the Conference Programme and Abstracts booklet and for publication on the RC51 website.
All abstracts should be sent to the Chair of the Abstracts Committee, Michael Paetau via the online abstract submission form:
- February, 1 2009: 500-1000 word detailed abstracts
- March, 1, 2009: Notification of acceptance
- May, 3, 2009: 250 word regular abstracts
- May, 24, 2009: Registration
- June, 14, 2008: Full paper
SESSION AND LANGUAGES
The official language of the conference will be English.
Conference fees are for:
- RC51 Non-members 100 Euro
- RC51 associate members (non-ISA): 50 Euro
- RC51 regular members in good standing (ISA and RC51): No fee
- In special cases (e.g., students) exemptions can be granted upon request.
Online registration form: http://larica-virtual.soc.uniurb.it/rc51/logistics/registration/.
VENUE AND ACCOMMODATION
The 9th International Conference of Sociocybernetics will take place in the Faculty of Sociology of University of Urbino Carlo Bo.
Urbino is a walled city in the Marche region in Italy, a World Heritage Site notable for a remarkable historical legacy of independent Renaissance culture, especially under the patronage of Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino from 1444 to 1482. The town, nestled on a high sloping hillside, retains much of its picturesque medieval aspect. (taken form http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbino).
Urbino is located in the middle of the Apennines, 30 km from the Adriatic coast. The town can be reached directly only by car or bus, not by train.
More info: http://larica-virtual.soc.uniurb.it/rc51/logistics/.
CONTACTS AND INFORMATION
For any further questions and information, please consult the RC51 website at http://sociocybernetics.unizar.es/ . You may also directly contact any of the members of the International Organizing Committee or the Coordinator of the National Organizing Committee.
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
- Chair, Bernard Scott, President RC51, B.C.E.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Eva Buchinger, Vice-President RC51 email@example.com
- Chaime Marcuello, Secretary RC51, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Karl-Heinz Simon email@example.com
- Michael Paetau firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONAL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
Please forward the Call for Papers to your friends and colleagues who may be interested in attending the conference.