This paper examines citizen involvement in forming technology policy related to emerging ubiquitous network societies. The complexity of modern life has created a heightened awareness of risks created through the advance of modern technologies, as well as a deeper awareness of the limitations of expert knowledge (Beck, 1992; Giddens, 1990). While technologies such as the World Wide Web, social media, and mobile telephony have the potential to transform democratic discourse and increase feedback into the policy-making process, indications are that, overall, it has not been greatly enriched. Citizens often feel disconnected from the policy-making process and are overwhelmed by rapid and ongoing scientific and technical advances. In particular, this paper addresses college-level education designed to challenge students to become more engaged in shaping these emerging systems and describes an approach using social informatics as a conceptual framework and alternative futures scenario building as part of a redesigned curriculum in information and communication technology (ICT) and policy courses in the School of Communications at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
|Keywords:||Ubiquitous Network Societies, Ubiquitous Computing, Public Role in Technology Policy, Higher Education, Futures Studies, Sociotechnical Systems, Social Informatics|
Assistant Professor, School of Communications, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI, USA