Santa Clara University

STS Nexus

Issue Overview

Eric D. Carlson
Pedro Hernandez-Ramos

This issue draws its material from the Networked World: Information Technology and Globalization international conference held April 24 and 25, 2003 at Santa Clara University, presented by the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, and sponsored by Applied Materials, Inc. The conference was held as part of the university’s year-long Institute on Globalization. The first day of the Conference consisted of four keynote dialogs (Cultural Dimensions of a Networked World, Growing Disparities, New Global Roles for Cities and Regions, and Business at the Bottom of the Pyramid) featuring academic, government, and business leaders. The second day consisted of two special sessions, one on The Case of Mexico as a Developing Nation and the other on Legal Challenges.

The first article in this issue draws from the keynote dialog on New Global Roles for Cities and Regions. Jim Koch and Uri Savir discuss the impact of rapid technological change, particularly electronic networks, on “glocalism,” defined as a process for linking and governing the benefits of globalization to local situations. Significant “glocal” issues that affect the major cities and regions of the world include economic growth, privatization, poverty, migration and social cohesion, and peace. The authors identify the need for a better balance between the global forces of technology and economic growth, and local needs and identities.

The next two articles come from the special session on The Case of Mexico as a Developing Nation, and call to our attention a series of related issues and problems arising from advances in science and technology. Javier Elguea offers a macro-level perspective on the challenges facing all developing countries, including ways to conceptualize and address the “digital divide.” Elguea’s core argument is that we need to distinguish poverty from inequality, and that trying to solve both problems at the same time is not only impossible but also misguided. Manuel Gándara shares “lessons from the field” gleaned from several projects carried out in Mexico. Gándara’s article probes in depth the question of access and the strategies employed most often to bridge “digital divides.” Both articles examine our assumptions about the impact of globalization on developing countries.

The fourth article, from the special session on Legal Challenges, deals specifically with the challenge of “e-waste.” Chad Raphael examines the efforts to control the growing global problems of ecological and health impacts of the waste products of information technology. Citing examples from several countries, Raphael documents the key issues and reviews relevant legislation.

Finally, Howard Anawalt presents an overview and commentary of four articles (available as an STS NEXUS Supplement), each of which provides a legal perspective on the effects of networking, especially the Internet, on global intellectual property and information rights.

About the Author

Eric Carlson

Eric D. Carlson

Eric Carlson, the Executive Editor of STS NEXUS, is the President and CEO of Telcontar, Inc. During the past 30 years, Carlson has worked in research, product development, and executive management in Silicon Valley at IBM, Convergent Tech­nologies, Unisys, the ASK Group, and Silicon Graphics. During that time he also served 10 years on the Los Gatos Town Council, including 2 terms as mayor. Carlson has a Ph.D. in com­puter science and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His bachelor’s degree in economics is from Carleton College, Minnesota.

About the Author

     Pedro Hernandez-Ramos

Pedro Hernandez-Ramos

Pedro Hernández-Ramos has a joint appointment at Santa Clara University as Assistant Professor of Education and Pro­gram Director (Family and Community) at the Center for Science, Technology, and Society. His research interests are in staff development, student expectations, and international aspects of the “digital divide.” He has worked as a consultant on usability research for high tech companies including Microsoft and Sun Microsystems. At Apple Computer he was the Education Man­ager for Latin America & Caribbean, then served as Education Business Development Manager for Apple Pacific, and finally as the Research Manager for the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) program. He also has held education marketing positions at Acer America and Cisco Systems, as well as Director of Market Development for the IMS Global Learning Consortium, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating technical standards for online, distributed learning.He has a B.A.from Universidad Iberoamericana (a Jesuit institution) in Mexico City, and a Ph.D. in mass commu­nication research from Stanford University.

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