UNESCO IFAP Conference
The first-ever international conference “Tangible and Intangible Impact of Information and Communication in the Digital Age” which will take place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russian Federation, on June 3-8, 2018. The principal organizers of the event are Russian Committee of the UNESCO Information for All Programme (IFAP) and Interregional Library Cooperation Centre in collaboration with UNESCO Secretariat and the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, and with financial support from the Government of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area – Ugra.
The event will be held within the frame of the X annual international IT forum, and of the protocol of cooperation between UNESCO and the Government of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area – Ugra.
UNESCO IFAP is an intergovernmental programme created in 2000. Through IFAP, governments of the world have pledged to harness the new opportunities of the information age to create equitable societies through better access to information.
Rapid and persistent changes in the information and communication field have become one of the most vivid and comprehensive features of the modern era. These changes are fuelled by the rampant penetration of information and communication technologies into all spheres of our life. The development of embedded systems and devices, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Internet of things, augmented and virtual reality, big data analytics and cloud computing, blockchain, etc., fosters the shift towards a new technological paradigm. The approaching future brings both positive expectations of scientific and technological progress and distinctly perceived threats, which are described and analysed by various communities – from media specialists to academics and politicians.
Due to the extremely high rate of changes, the society does not have time to interpret and thoroughly understand them, nor to respond progressively. Most studies focus on the receding reality; those trying to describe and analyse the current state-of-the-art and to forecast possible development lines and their consequences follow out-of-date models and approaches. At the same time, experts and the general public have reached a relative consensus on socio-cultural challenges coming into particular prominence, in particular:
- Oversupply of information, resulting in its devaluation and loss of trust to professional media;
- Pervasive communications accompanied by ever more sophisticated communicative technologies;
- People gradually getting excluded from generating meanings and values and turning into functional supplements to communication flows;
- Traditional cultural regulators of social relations and processes being displaced by automated social algorithms;
- Blurring the borders between the real and the digital world, wide spread of simplified virtual mockups and simulacra;
- Post-truth in its heyday, with public perception shaped more by means of addressing feelings and personal opinion rather than actual facts, with fakes, clickbaits, hypes and other tools introduced to form post-reality in the political and media culture.
The international conference will provide a platform for discussing the above mentioned and other problems, phenomena and trends that have come into focus in the last decade. The participants are also invited to argue on the processes that are less evident, but might significantly impact the socio-cultural landscape in the nearest future.
The conference will contribute to balancing the pace of development in the field of information, communication and related technologies and the ability of science and the society to comprehend the changing reality and thus influence the vector and nature of progress.
For additional information, see the Russian Committee of UNESCO’s IFAP Programme website.