The Berkeley Center for the Information Society is a research center focused on the social impact of the information technology revolution and is the newest research center at ICSI. The center is directed by Dr. Pekka Himanen and its research board is chaired by Prof. Manuel Castells. Key areas include: (1) challenges of the global information society and different models of responding to it; (2) the use of IT in social movements; and (3) enhancing equal social opportunities with IT. Among the current projects in the above areas are (1) the comparison of the Silicon Valley, Finnish, and Singapore information society models by Pekka Himanen, Manuel Castells and their group; (2) research on the application of the open-source model to social movements by Jerry Feldman, Steve Weber and others; and (3) the digital opportunities program called "Berkeley Foundation for Opportunities in Information Technology" (BFOIT), led by Orpheus Crutchfield. Starting 2003, BCIS has also started a supplementary grant to support UC Berkeley students researching topics in Technology and Society. For more information, click here. BCIS will also hold a one-unit seminar class presenting the work of Berkeley graduate students in Technology and Society. In Fall 2003, Ruzena Bajcsy and Steve Weber, our affiliated faculty members, will conduct a graduate class on Information Systems and Social Systems.
Currently, the fellows of the center include:
Prof. Manuel Castells - the network society
Orpheus Crutchfield - digital opportunities
Prof. Jerry Feldman - use of IT in social movements
Dr. Pekka Himanen - challenges of the network society
Prof. You-tien Hsing - Chinese information society
Prof. AnnaLee Saxenian - Silicon Valley development
Prof. Steve Weber - open source as innovation
The center's research board includes top people from different backgrounds, such as Linus Torvalds (the creator of the Linux operating system) and Ruzena Bajcsy (from CITRIS). The goal of the Berkeley Center for the information Society is to develop an interesting network of interaction between the top academic, business and civil society people, who share an interest in the social good of the information age. For further information, please email to Pekka Himanen,
Pekka Himanen is the author of "The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age" and "The Information Society and the Welfare State: The Finnish Model" with Manuel Castells (Oxford University Press). Himanen obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Helsinki and has since then, carried out research in Europe, Asia and the United States. Among his many advisory positions, Himanen has advised the Finnish government, parliment and President on the information society as well as leading IT companies like Nokia. Himanen also works at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, which is an important international research partner of the Center.
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