Pekka Himanen: Challenges of the Global Information Society

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Helsinki, 14 July, 2005 — Pekka Himanen: Challenges of the Global Information Society

The Committee for the Future of the Finnish Parliament asked Dr. Pekka Himanen of the Helsinki Insti-tute for Information Technology to prepare a report that looks at the global challenges of the information society and suggests one alternative for meeting these challenges: the model of the information society combined with the welfare state.

The main ideas presented in the report apply universally: the global development of the information soci-ety has reached a phase that requires new actions from us all. In short, the idea of the information society can be defined as a creative society that is based on interaction. What is most important to the information society is not new technology but a new way of doing things.

The review comes to the conclusion that the most critical aspect in the development of the information society is the development of the deep-set structures of society. The information society agenda is not the same as an information network or Internet programme. The development of technology will help only when it is com-bined with changes in the underlying structures.

The report discusses the global trends behind the need to change our society, and lists values which could serve as the basis for the continued combination of the welfare state and the information society. A suc-cessful reform requires value-based management from politicians.

Our hope is that the report can be used as a basis for fruitful discussions concerning the building of a fu-ture sustainable information society.

The review by Dr. Himanen can be found at

The introduction was written by Jyrki Katainen, Chairperson of the Committee for the Future Member of Parliament

This article is published in ICT Cluster Finland Review 2005.

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ICT Cluster Finland Review 2005