COMMUNIA conference 2010

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Conference in Torino, Italy


University and Cyberspace: Reshaping Knowledge Institutions for the Networked Age

Universities are entrusted with the increasingly important responsibility of creating, sharing, and fostering use of knowledge on behalf of society, and to that end, are the recipients of tremendous investments of time, money, space, authority and freedom. Universities have embraced this role in diverse fashions, varying by tradition, period, and discipline, but we now ask them to go further. As we progress ever more deeply into a networked age, our knowledge institutions are faced with concomitant opportunities. They are challenged by society to become a driving force to create and disseminate knowledge - using innovative, effective, and dynamic approaches - derived from and for the networked world.

How is the role of universities as knowledge creating, sharing, and applying institutions going to change due to the Internet? How should universities use cyberspace to best implement their mission with respect to society? Taking into account the characteristics of the new generations of students, faculty and staff, how should the informational and the spatial (both physical and virtual) infrastructures of universities be shaped to improve learning, discovery, and engagement? What about the new opportunities to enhance the civic role of universities – who prepare people for citizenship and contribute to the public sphere - in our democratic societies?

The COMMUNIA 2010 International Conference will provide a venue for articulating possible answers to these and other questions, with the twofold objective of defining a shared vision of the future of universities as knowledge institutions and of identifying the main steps leading from vision to reality.