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Development and the Information Age: Four Global Scenarios for the Future of Information and Communication Technology

J. Howkins and R. Valantin
United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development, IDRC
Out of print

Available formats

Around the world, new information and communication technologies are increasingly affecting societies and their governments, industries, communities, and individuals. The Information Revolution is producing astonishing transformation in virtually all spheres of human activity. But how can these technologies help to balance the scales of development between the countries of the "industrialized" world and those of the "developing"world? Indeed, will they narrow the existing gap, or will they widen it?

In June 1996, experts from around the world gathered to debate these questions. By thinking the unthinkable and asking the unaskable, four scenarios were envisioned. The March of Follies, Cargo Cult, Netblocs, and Networld present distinct futures with different measures of cooperation, protectionism, and preparedness, and they provide a stark and realistic view of the relationship between the new information and communication technologies and the goal of global sustainable and equitable development.

Development and the Information Age offers a glimpse into the future of the Information Age. Its brevity and clarity will appeal to all readers interested in development issues and the new information technologies, and will particularly inform policymakers, academics, students, and practitioners in development and information technology worldwide.