This book takes a critical view on corporate practice, governmental action and the general approach to Corporate Social Responsibility. It draws on experience from the Workplace Innovation movement and argues that, as with motherhood and apple pie, it is hard to oppose CSR, with a community of well-meaning people. It is however necessary to challenge the foundations on which it is based. Many accounts of CSR assume a consistent model of capitalism around the world. It is suggested that capitalism can (...) be given a human face, as companies adopt programmes which go beyond the minimum legal requirements. This builds on traditions of optional corporate philanthropy. However, without changing the underlying working of the company, only cosmetic changes are made. In the author's words: "lipstick is applied to the capitalist pig". It can be a mistake to read too much into "Responsible Management", when the culture of management is designed around irresponsibility. Companies have developed elaborate schemes of outsourcing, in an environment of limited liability. This cannot easily be overcome through gestures. This book seeks to engage readers and to provoke thoughts. It can be angry and polemical, but it points a finger directly at ongoing superficial developments. (shrink)
Artificial intelligence is presented as a set of tools with which we can try to come to terms with human problems, and with the assistance of which, some human problems can be solved. Artificial intelligence is located in its social context, in terms of the environment within which it is developed, and the applications to which it is put. Drawing on social theory, there is consideration of the collaborative and social problem-solving processes which are involved in artificial intelligence and society. (...) In a look ahead to the coming generations of highly parallel computing systems, it is suggested that lessons can be learnt from the highly parallel processes of human social problem-solving. (shrink)
This book addresses the following question: What is a sustainable society, and how can higher education help us to develop toward it? The core argument put forward is that the concept of sustainability reaches much farther than just the direct aspects of environmental threats and carbon emissions. Using higher education as a point of departure, the book shows that sustainability involves a broad range of disciplines, from nursing and nutrition to technology and management. It argues that a sustainable society entails (...) a distinct perspective on society that influences our social thinking in terms of ethics, democracy and knowledge development. The book also discusses if (and if so, how) higher education can and should contribute to such a development based on the principles of the freedom of science in a liberal, democratic society. The book presents Mutual Competence Building as a concept higher education can adapt in order to contribute to a sustainable Society. (shrink)
It is supposedly easier to connect with other human beings in the era of ubiquitous technology. Connecting requires action and an element of risk taking in a context of dynamic uncertainty and incomplete information. The article explores what is involved in developing sustainable connections. We reflect on the context of “Socially Useful Artificial Intelligence”, the focus of the first article in issue 1.1.1987 of AI & Society, and explore subsequent research in a changing world. The arguments are illustrated through an (...) account of the development of the Penny University, from a London coffee house to a potential international virtual institution. (shrink)
The article considers relations between the generations, with particular attention given to older workers, who also face the pressures of responsibilities to both parents and children. The situations in Norway and the UK are compared. The case is made for support structures, such as senior quality circles, at the threshold between employment and retirement.
The Council for Education in World Citizenship has been working with Kingston University and the UK National Commission for UNESCO, taking advantage of global information technology developments in order to build new programmes for global citizenship education. The paper reports on practical experience, inviting new network partners. The IST-Africa 2007 conference provided an opportunity to build on these foundations, with initiatives in primary, secondary, further, adult and higher education, and continuing professional development for teachers.
Silence resides in the gaps between the known islands of explicit knowledge. Rather than expecting to build systems with complete information, we take a human-centred approach. Individual citizens need to be active, engage in dialogue and be aware of the importance of tacit knowledge. As societies, we recognise the incompleteness and inconsistency of our discourse.
The paper reflects on the unique experience of social and technological development in Lithuania since the regaining of independence as a newly reshaped society constructing a distinctive competitive IST-based model at global level. This has presented Lithuanian pattern of how to integrate different experiences and relations between generations in implementing complex information society approaches. The resulting programme in general is linked to the Lisbon objectives of the European Union. The experience of transitional countries in Europe, each different but facing some (...) common problems, may be useful to developing countries in Africa. (shrink)
The article introduces a new international educational community based on Students’ Quality Circles, in which industry and education have learned to collaborate for mutual benefit. In each country represented in this special issue, there have been distinctive bottom-up initiatives, informed by the experience of collaboration. We emphasise Quality as Empowerment.
This article considers the results of a global survey into quality terminology, which suggested that quality professionals are not making use of their own standards. Discussion of quality is located in the context of partnership and networks.