Thursday, November 03, 2005

UNESCO World Report: Towards Knowledge Societies

This is the first in a new series of UNESCO reports, to be published every two years, focusing on subjects at the heart of the Organization’s mission.

"Towards Knowledge Societies clearly makes the distinction between knowledge societies and the information society. While the information society is based on technological breakthroughs, knowledge societies “encompass broader social, ethical and political dimensions.” The Report focuses in particular on the foundations on which knowledge societies that will optimize sustainable human development are constructed.

"The Report analyses the increasingly important role played by knowledge in economic growth and advances that it can serve as a new springboard for development in the countries of the South. It also presents a detailed analysis of the factors blocking the access of many countries to the opportunities offered by information and communication technologies, especially the growing digital divide and restrictions on freedom of expression. Finally, it makes a series of recommendations to improve the situation."

The report is now available for sale (Click here to transfer to the UNESCO website), priced at € 25.00.

Table of Contents

List of boxes, figures and tables, p. 11
List of abbreviations and acronyms, p. 14
Introduction, p. 17
Overview, p. 24

1. From the information society to knowledge societies, p. 27
Knowledge societies as a source of development, p. 27
Digital solidarity, p. 29
Freedom of expression as the touchstone of knowledge societies, p. 36

2. Network societies, knowledge and the new technologies, p. 45
Knowledge economy in network societies, p. 45
The impact of the new technologies on knowledge networks, p. 47
From memory-based societies to knowledge societies? p. 52

3. Learning societies, p. 57
Towards a culture of innovation? p. 57
Learning, a key value of knowledge societies, p. 60
The availability of knowledge, p. 63

4. Towards lifelong education for all? p. 69
Basic education for all, p. 71
Lifelong education for all, p. 76
New inputs for education: institutional reform, pedagogical research, teacher training and quality of education, p. 81
“E-learning”: new technologies and distance education, p. 84

5. The future of higher education, p. 87
Towards a market in higher education? Issues of funding, p. 87
University networks yet to be invented, p. 91
The new missions of higher education, p. 95

6. A research revolution? p. 99
New research locations, p. 99
The new frontiers of science, p. 111
Research and development: future challenges, p. 114

7. Science, the public and knowledge societies, p. 119
A good governance for science and technology, p. 119
A crisis in science education? p. 126
Fostering a scientific culture, p. 128

8. Risks and human security in knowledge societies, p. 133
Knowledge as a risk panacea? Foresight and disaster anticipation, p. 133
Knowledge societies, a source of new risk? Global risks, strategic risks and new forms of criminality, p. 137
Knowledge societies, human security, human rights and the fight against poverty, p. 139
Towards sustainable development societies? p. 142

9. Local and indigenous knowledge, linguistic diversity and knowledge societies, p. 147
Preserving local and indigenous knowledge, p. 148
Linguistic diversity and knowledge societies, p. 151
Pluralism, translation and knowledge sharing, p. 156

10. From access to participation: towards knowledge societies for all, p. 159
From the knowledge divide to knowledge sharing, p. 159
Women in knowledge societies, p. 167
Universal access to knowledge: knowledge sharing and intellectual property protection, p. 169
The renewal of democratic public forums in knowledge societies, p. 178

Conclusion, p. 185
Recommendations, p. 191
References, p. 195
Notes, p. 211

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