UNESCO INVITES TOP THINKERS TO TALK ABOUT KNOWLEDGE SOCIETIESParis - Jacques Derrida, Manuel Castells, Amath Soumaré, Tadao Takahashi and Nilufer Göle (see profiles below) will introduce the thematic debate on "Building Knowledge Societies" at the forthcoming plenary session of UNESCO's Executive Board (Wednesday May 22, 9.30 am to 1 pm).
Many see this issue as one of the great challenges of the 21st century. It is also the theme of an upcoming UNESCO report.
After presenting their views, the five invited experts will discuss the subject with representatives of the 58 countries electedto the Board by UNESCO's General Conference. Journalists will be able to attend the debate (via relay to Room XI), which brings together some of today's greatest thinkers and futurologists.
This thematic debate has been organized at the initiative of the Chairperson of the Executive Board, Aziza Bennani, Morocco's Ambassador to UNESCO, with the help of UNESCO's Division of Foresight, Philosophy and Human Sciences, organizer of the Twenty-First Century Talks series.
ManuelCastells is a Professor of Sociology and Professor of Regional Planning at the University of Berkeley (California, USA), he is also a director of research at the Universitat de Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) in Barcelona (Spain) and president of the scientific commission of IN3 (Internet Interdisciplinary Institute). He has been a member of several eminent bodies including the European Commission's Expert Group on the Information Society, and the United Nations Information and Communication Technologies Advisory Group. Manuel Castells is the author of "The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture", and "The Internet Galaxy" (2001) which has already been translated into 12 languages.
Amath Soumaré is the founder-President of SOPEL International, an economic think-tank focused on Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. He is an advisor to several international development agencies and in that capacity took part in the recent UNESCO Seminar on Forward-Looking Approaches and Innovative Strategies to Promote the Development of Africa in the Twenty-First Century. He is also the coordinator of World Bank-sponsored "Rencontres Africaines" which deals with economic and development information.
Tadao Takahashi is Chair of the Information Society ProgrammeTask Force of Brazil, he is also the director of the Portuguese Language Centre of the UNL programme (Institute for Advanced Studies/United Nations University), and is the acting chair of the Brazilian chapter of the Internet Society (ISOC). He was formerly a lecturer at the University of Campinas/Brazil, and a researcher at the Image Science and Engineering Laboratory of the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan).
Jacques Derrida is a renowned philosopher and founding member of the International Parliament of Writers. He is a research director at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. A prolific writer, he is notably the author of L'Ecriture de la Difference (1967), De la Grammatologie (1967), La Dissémination (1972), Glas (1974), La Verité en peinture (1978), Du Droit ŕ la philosophie (1990), and more recently, Le Droit ŕ la Philosophie du point de vue cosmopolitique, De l'hospitalité (2001), Foi et savoir (2001), Fichus (2002).
Nilufer Göle was recently elected director of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. She was formerly Professor of Sociology at the Bogaziçi University in Istanbul (Turkey) and a Fellow of the Wissenschaftkolleg in Berlin. Since 2000, she has also been a member of theScientific Council of the Institut d'études de l'Islam et des sociétiés du monde musulman (IISMM, EHESS). Her work is devoted to the study of modernity and Islam. She is the author of Musulmanes et modernes - voile et civilisation en Turquie, published in five languages.
125 avenue de Suffren
Room X, with relay to Room XI
For more information: 01 45 68 15 01