PARADISO in a nutshell
If it is today well acknowledged that the world has profoundly changed during the last decades, it has to be acknowledged too that the world will probably have to profoundly change in the next decades in order to avoid major risks of breakdown.
Industrialized, emerging and developing countries will need to agree, sooner or later, on an alternative way forward based on a true sustainable development, more sustainable economic and financial models, more equally shared resources. What is at stake is of course, ultimately, the wellbeing of all citizens of the world, to be measured by new indexes going beyond GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
The PARADISO initiative, launched during the first half of 2007 (before the present financial and economic crisis) by Sigma Orionis and the Club of Rome has been exploring this paradigm shift concerning global societal developments and the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) could play in this envisioned future (PARADISO is an acronym formed by the two words PARADIgm and SOcietal, and an obvious reference to a better world).
The support from the European Commission through its FP7 research funding programme has made it possible to develop substantial activities since 2008.
These activities mainly consisted during the period 2008-2009 in the organisation of open events (including a high-level conference in Brussels in January 2009) and the release of first reference documents. They had an important impact since they appeared quite visionary and timely when the present worldwide crisis started to expand.
During the period 2010-2011, PARADISO activities have been further exploring how might or should our societies evolve in the next decades and how can ICT, and the Future Internet in particular, contribute to making this future better.
Outputs are detailed in successive versions of the “PARADISO reference document”, that includes recommendations concerning research to be developed in the framework of EU-funded programmes.
Two open events are organised in Brussels: a “PARADISO scientific workshop” (on November 23, 2010) to discuss the draft version of the PARADISO reference document and collect inputs from any interested stakeholders and the “Internet and societies – New innovation paths” Conference (on September 7-9, 2011) to promote draft final results and enhance the media and political impacts of the project.
All project activities are open to any organisations interested in project approach and expected outputs. External contributions are welcomed, particularly through the project web site.
The PARADISO initiative can count on the involvement of a multidisciplinary high-level expert panel (presented here) composed of around 40 representatives of leading institutions, companies, research institutes, and NGOs from Europe and the rest of the world.