Am speaking at the World Women’s Forum on the 11th and leaving for Paris tonight. Thought I’d just bring back a post I did a few days ago at Mosoci, on our session. There’s also going to be live-blogging from there, and I will do my bit too.
Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society Third Edition will focus on “Building trust in our societies”. I’ve been invited to participate at the session on “The new social networks: What do they mean for trust and the way our societies evolve”
The information and communication technologies are creating new communities with an increasing impact in shaping and disseminating perceptions. How is this new trend affecting the way our societies make some key choices? What is the impact on social cohesion as – paradoxically – a new sense of virtual community is coming along with a growing sense of isolation? Are these new forms of socialization leading to an even more narrow sense of identity, or, on the contrary, identities that build bridges across communities?
Bruno Giussani, author, entrepreneur, European director of the TED Conferences, Switzerland
Susan Kish, VP Network & Community Practice, Xing, Switzerland
Anne Lange, Senior Executive Advisor, Cisco Systems, USA
Dina Mehta, Ethnographer, Blogger and Social Media enthusiast, Director with Explore Research & Consultancy, India
Caroline Mille-Langlois, Senior Vice President, Communications & Brand, France Telecom / Orange Group, France
Moderator: Maria Cattaui, Member of the Board of Directors, Petroplus Holdings; Vice-Chairman, International Crisis Group, Switzerland
I’m excited to be meeting a whole new set of folks at this forum – the only person I know of on our panel is Bruno who writes the excellent LunchOverIP Blog and is a friend on Facebook! Maria, the moderator for our panel, asked for some points of discussion for this session — some of her thoughts were:
“For instance: seen from the point of view of an analyst of this new social network phenomenon, and from the point of view of India, is this having the same kind of impact as in Europe or the USA? Is it an accepted form of social networking? Do people in India willingly “share” their private views? Easily collaborate in virtual settings?”
I expanded this list to the following:
I understand your need for defining questions … and some of the examples you have listed are really good ones to discuss. Just to give you a perspective on my own personal feelings on this area of trust and intimacy in the online world, I’d encourage you to check out this article I had written a few months ago for a newspaper in India – The Mirror of Change: This is Who We are Becoming. I’d also like to share, on another note, how these social tools online are bridging gaps and bringing communities together in unprecedented ways … my experiences with the tsunamis blogging completely changed my world – Social Tools – Ripples to Waves of the Future.
I think a lot of the talking points are in there – and not really exclusive to India – the cultural landscape of India is undergoing a huge change today – and one of the key catalysts for this has been the mobile phone, which is in many ways our gateway to the internet. The other one, to a smaller extent (simply because we are still waiting for it to tip), still one that’s bringing huge changes, is the internet. And it is the social nature of the web that is emerging as one of the harbingers of change.
So some of the things I would love to contribute to in a discussion (outside of what you have already listed):
– why do we say software is social today … what are these tools that enable what I call ‘technology with heart’ —- blogs, wikis, facebook, newsreaders, youtube, social networks etc — how do they foster better flows in communication, collaboration and community — how do we use them to determine our circles of privacy and how do we leverage them to meet our needs for the social, public, private and sacred selves — why do they make some of us feel and really believe that we ‘belong’ – in a way never possible earlier due to the breaking down of physical, geographic and temporal boundaries —- how is trust built up in networked societies, what are the new rules emerging —– are these worlds really separate from our physical worlds and how do we deal with the bonds we form when our physical and virtual worlds intersect —– are we any less ‘real’ and why do some of us believe that this virtual world has on the contrary indeed made us more ‘real’ and shown us ways of who we can be and become that our physical worlds never permitted to us. And as with any social institution or system, what are the dangers and pitfalls really … for eg. in India, there’s been a lot of negative flak a social networking site called Orkut is undergoing – as a bunch of youngsters actually kidnapped and murdered one of their Orkut buddies — how are we equipped to deal with these?
I could go on and on Maria … these are just random thoughts in no order or structure whatsoever … but do feel free to try and pin me down some more .
Theme: “Building trust in our societies”