21st Century Talks: Towards Knowledge SocietiesThe development of “knowledge societies” will be the theme of the next 21st Century Talks, which will bring together four personalities at UNESCO Headquarters on 6 December: Robin Mansell, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Edgar Morin and Alain Touraine (Room XII, 6 to 8 p.m.).
This 29th session of the Talks will be opened by UNESCO Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, and moderated by Jérôme Bindé, Deputy Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences and Director of the Division of Foresight, Philosophy and Human Sciences at UNESCO. The session closely follows the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Tunis, and the publication of UNESCO’s World Report Towards Knowledge Societies, the first in a new series, which will examine, every two years, subjects at the heart of the Organization’s concerns.
“UNESCO develops a vision of what knowledge societies can and must be in the future: pluralistic and participative, inclusive rather than exclusive,” Mr Matsuura said at the launch of the Report in Paris on 3 November. “Through this reflection, we explore the consequences of the transition from the information society to knowledge societies. Particular emphasis is placed on the conditions that must be met to ensure that in such societies knowledge is shared, accessible to all and a vehicle of human and sustainable development,” he added.
Born in Canada, Robin Mansell teaches at the London School of Economics and has been the President of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) since 2004. She has published numerous works including Trust and Crime in Information Societies (2005).
Senegalese philosopher Souleymane Bachir Diagne teaches at the University of Dakar and at Northwestern University in the United States. His publications include: Islam et société ouverte (2001) and 100 mots pour dire l’Islam (2002).
French sociologist Edgar Morin is Emeritus Research Director at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS). His many published works include La Méthode (1977-2004) and Introduction à la pensée complexe (1990).
French sociologist Alain Touraine - Director of Studies at the Institution of Higher Learning in Social Sciences in Paris and founder of the Center for Sociological Analysis and Intervention (CADIS) – publications include: Pourrons-nous vivre ensemble ? Egaux et différents (1997) and Un nouveau paradigme pour comprendre le monde d’aujourd’hui (2005).