Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Harvard University Internet & Society 2007 Conference (IS2K7) explores the role of University in cyberspace. There are staggering implications to the increasing importance of the Internet in organizing, sharing, making meaning of, and creating information and knowledge, and perhaps no more fundamental questions than those about the University’s place in this new environment. As the world’s main engine for knowledge creation, dissemination and utilization – and a parent of the Net – both individual universities and the University as an institution are faced with grave and important questions about how to behave in this emergent ecosystem.

In the constantly changing and complex evolution of the Net, it seems that University has both as special interest and a special obligation to make the most of this unique platform. There is tremendous for-profit participation and increasing governmental involvement in the Net, but many users have been left worrying about their integrity of their interests in the face of these forces. With its mission mapping so closely to the aforementioned and most transformative aspects of the Net, and thus our own, it is clear that University’s actions are of the utmost importance to us all.

University must ask itself about this new integrated media space: whose interests University represents, what it means to be open now, and how to think about (and address) the legal, technical, economic and social constraints on developing, sharing and using knowledge. We will consider topics such as open access models for scholarly publication, designing and creating the libraries of the future, and the broader context of the interactions between University, government, and for-profit corporations in this landscape.

The sixth edition of this biannual university-wide event will be held on June 1, 2007 in Cambridge, MA, and attracts a diverse group of scholars, students, entrepreneurs, technologists, administrators and policymakers. It is organized by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and partners around Harvard, and supported by the Office of the Provost at Harvard, Science Commons, and others. The substance of our conversations – and their outputs – will be largely driven by the conference participants through a series of events and online conversations. The combination of these modes will help focus the conference’s lines of inquiry and develop community, allowing the gathering to be another aspect of an ongoing conversation rather than the final word.

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Added by willow on April 5, 2007