In October of last year, ITAS, together with the VDI/VDE Technology Centre for Information Technology, organised an international congress "Innovations for an e-Society - Challenges for Technology Assessment" on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The contributions of the invited speakers and introductory presentations for the individual tracks have now been assembled in a volume published by the Edition Sigma, Rainer Bohn-Verlag.
Great progress has already been made toward the penetration of all areas of daily life and work by electronic technologies, and it is certain that this process will continue for many years to come. With the widespread use of the internet, the process has, indeed, achieved a new quality which is changing developed industrial societies in a very fundamental sense: an e-Society is taking shape - a society which is providing access to new potential by means of information and communication technologies while at the same time becoming increasingly dependent on these technologies, and thus being confronted with new problems. In this reader the potential impacts and implications of this process are explored in their political, social and cultural dimensions. The contributions address the institutional conditions and framework which are desirable or necessary for a future e-Society. They illustrate opportunities for shaping and options for actions or decisions in a broad range of fields, extending from electronic governance via the relationship between the internet and culture to changes in working life and the vulnerability of the information society.
The papers include the opening address by the Minister, Ms. Edelgard Bulmahn, plenary presentations by Armin Grunwald, Benjamin Barber, Cees Hamelink, Oleg Sjuntjurenko, Joachim Schaper / Michael Altenhofen. Other authors are Jos Leijten on public experimentation, Raymund Werle on the internet and culture, Georg Aichholzer on e-government, Gerd Schienstock / Tapio Rissanen, Juliet Webster and Geert van Hootegem / Johan Dejonckheere on work in the e-society, David R. Wilkinson / Marcelo Masera and Alfred Büllesbach on aspects of data security and protection, Risto Roine / Arto Ohinmaa / David Hailey on health and Christian Clausen / Annegrethe Hansen and Joe and Vary Coates on the future of technology assessment. The volume also includes the three award-winning best papers by Anne Eckhardt / Danielle Bütschi, Robert Gehring and Alexandra Samuel. The final contribution is a paper on the beginnings of the e-society in Berlin in the age of electricity by Hubert Laitko.
The other papers submitted to the congress were published in the preprints and are still available on request on CD-ROM from ITAS. Alternatively you may download individual articles in pdf format from ITAS' web site (http://www.itas.fzk.de/eng/e-society/). The contents of the forthcoming reader are not available in this way.
Gerhard Banse, Armin Grunwald, Michael Rader (eds.):
Innovations for an e-Society - Challenges for Technology Assessment. Berlin: Edition Sigma, 2002 (Gesellschaft - Technik - Umwelt, Neue Folge 2), ISBN: 3-89404-932-4, 314 Seiten, 24,90 Euro