Place Georges Pompidou
Paris, Ile-de-France 75004

The New Industrial World Forum
Social Networks: Cultures, Politics, and Engineering
October 3 and 4, 2008 Paris, Centre Pompidou, Grande Salle

This second New Industrial World Forum, co-organised by Cap Digital, l’IRI, and l’ENSCI, is a continuation of our 2007 discussion on social networks in the ever-growing Web 3.0’s technological and economic environment. Twenty or so renowned industrialists and researchers will come together for this event: Pekka Himannen, Scott Lash, Bernard Stiegler, Francis Jutand… La Fondation Internet Nouvelle Génération is associated to the Forum and will hold a Carrefour des Possibles, Friday, October 3, at the Centre Pompidou.

This second New Industrial World Forum looks to deepen the discussions began in 2007 on ascending innovation and the implications of design in our presumably cultural and cognitive capitalist era. We suggest that this year’s forum develop the concepts of Social Networks and Social Engineering within a technological and economic environment generated by an ever present Web 3.0.
The first day of the forum is dedicated to the sociological and psychological dimensions of social networks and to providing an overview of existing and emerging international technologies and strategies in the industry. The second day focuses on economic and organizational consequences and on identifying opportunities as political leverage and how potential dangers as re-centering on the emergence of social engineering.
To close the first day of conference, a special edition of the Carrefour des Possibles (the “Intersection of Opportunities” seminar) will highlight some of the technological, economic, and industrial aspects of the day’s discussions.
With the proliferation and perfection of the Internet and the Web over the last 30 years, and more recently, with the development of what we call “social networks” and the Web 2.0, digital technologies have come to restructure our everyday as well as profoundly transform the relationship between individuals, groups, generations, and nations. A notable consequence is the emergence of relational technologies, what Jeremy Rifkin calls “R-technologies.” These technologies revolutionize the traditional rules of the economy and industry and fundamentally challenge the psychological individuation processes as described by the philosopher Gilbert Simondon, who affirms that individual psychological tools can only emerge by participating in the creation of social ones.

The spectacular growth of social networks affects every setting and alters the rules of the socio-economic game, notably through younger generations. Thus, we can and we should carefully evaluate the consequences of how we orient our industrial development – even if key decisions are shaped by the economy, politics, investments, regulations, R&D, design, management, marketing, and distribution – ultimately, these are all broadly conditioned by choices and processes derived from social engineering.
Social engineering enables the production of social networks. These networks, at first glance, can be taken to be non-social or even anti-social. They are indeed quite removed from the long-held understanding of what is social as intrinsically tied to territory, language, to a religious, political, or cultural heritage, passed down from generation to generation, and where what is social is considered common ground and history. In this New Industrial World Forum, we explore the hypothesis that a major determinant of this new industrial world is to ensure the necessary technological, economic, and social conditions to update the potential for creating new networks of social relationships carried by social networks. This will lead us to reconsider first, the constitution and development of the Web 3.0’s social networks (the Web 3.0 groups the Web’s semantic and social attributes), and second, the desired economic and ethical conditions for the management of these new settings, meaning administration, control, transparency, and e-Democracy.
Design, in the broadest sense, including R&D and the social initiative generated from ascending innovation, increasingly depends on strategies that incorporate top-down expert approach with bottom-up social indexation. The New Industrial World Forum 2008 hopes to clarify how these developments are coming to life in research and industry due to a fundamental renewal of design and methodology of development, the new role of designers, and the defining shift towards what can be called “distributed design,” highlighted by principal innovation actors who are also and foremost, embedded in real social networks and key members of these networks.

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Added by marcedavis on October 24, 2008

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