ERIC Number: ED358826
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
The Information Evolution: How New Information Technologies Are Spurring Complex Patterns of Change. Forum Report. A Report of a Conference on the Impact of Information Technology (Aspen, Colorado, August 6-9, 1992).
Because the summer of 1992 seemed a good time to reflect broadly on the many directions in which the technologies of the new Information Society are moving, the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program convened a meeting of experts, leaders, and representatives of various information technology interests to lay the groundwork for future, more focused efforts. A significant aspect of the conferences was the use of a new paradigm for thinking about the impact of information technology, that of co-evolving complex adaptive systems. When new technologies are introduced into the workplace or other milieu, they often produce new tensions. These tensions were explored by conference participants. One participant, Murray Gell-Mann, introduced the theory of complex adaptive systems as a framework for understanding technological change. Complex adaptive systems are those that give rise to other systems, which in turn lead to still other systems. Understanding how complex adaptive systems behave offers useful insights into the behavior of contemporary business organizations. The information evolution in American business mimics the theory in many ways as the accelerating rate of communication within the business enterprise illustrates. The most profound impact of information technologies may be that they stimulate the development of new organizational models for understanding business. What the future holds for the complex adaptive systems that are evolving is discussed from the point of view of the market, the government's role, and the promise for change that complex adaptive systems offer. Appendix A lists conference participants, and Appendix B presents the purpose statement of the Communications and Society Program. (SLD)
Descriptors: Administrative Problems, Business, Change, Communications, Conferences, Economic Impact, Futures (of Society), Information Technology, Models, Organizational Development, Systems Development, Technological Advancement, Theories
Aspen Institute, Communications and Society Program, 1755 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Suite 501, Washington, DC 20036.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Aspen Inst., Queenstown, MD.