Kickoff Workshop For „Globalization and the Internet“ Project in Berlin

On Future Challenges we’re focusing on globalization issues and a big network of bloggers provides a broad range of perspectives on these topics. How is free trade perceived in developing countries? Is it different from what people in developed countries think about it? How does labour migration affect societies around the world and what are the concrete impacts not only on a macro level but rather on a personal level? Our bloggers tell us.

All this is possible via the use of the Internet which is one of the reasons why we at Future Challenges are interested in the intersection of globalization and the Internet. We’re happy that we can deepen our understanding of these processes in a project that was launched in Berlin on Thursday, last week: „Globalization and the Internet: People, Information, Goods“.

This project is based on a cooperation between the Internet and Society Collaboratory  and Future Challenges. A group of round about 30 people is divided into four working groups. These working groups are a direct result of an initial brainstorming during the kick-off workshop in a former supermarket in Berlin.

Participants off the kickoff workshop in front of the "Supermarket"

Participants off the kickoff workshop in front of the “Supermarket” in Berlin. Photo taken by the author.

The working groups will collaborate online to refine their initial concepts. At a second workshop at the end of August the #CoLab9 participants will take part in a booksprint, which is an innovative way of writing books – not the classical way but much faster and written by many authors. At the end of November the Internet und Gesellschaft Collaboratory and Future Challenges will present the results of the „Globalization and the Internet“ initiative. Feedback is welcome at any point of this process!

I’m personally involved in the second working group which will analyse the impact of  the Internet on cultures worldwide. Does the Internet even facilitate the development of a supranational, meta culture? One of the participants in this group proposed to start a blogparade among the Future Challenges bloggers as soon as we have detailed questions we’ll be working on. I think it’s a brilliant idea!

Colab9 participants discussing

The #Colab9 participants are discussing the booksprint format. It’s planned to make such a booksprint during the second workshop at the end of August. Photo taken by the Internet und Gesellschaft Collaboratory.

Another working group will focus on the impact of the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the EU.  During the kickoff workshop this gorup has already set up a Tumblr blog: TAFTA TTIP WATCH.

It will be interesting to see how the working groups will highlight different aspects of the overall topic „Globalization and the Internet“. I will keep you posted!