|Canberra||7 October 2008|
|Melbourne||15 October 2008|
|PERTH||21 October 2008|
|BUNBURY||22 October 2008|
|HOBART||28 October 2008|
|Adelaide||29 October 2008|
|SYDNEY||24 November 2008|
ACS Branch Forum (Final EDxN for 2008)
The World Internet Project What do Australians do online?
CCi Digital Futures is the Australian component of the World Internet Project (WIP), a collaborative, survey-based project looking at the social, cultural, political and economic impact of the Internet and other new technologies. Founded by the UCLA Centre for the Digital Future in the United States in 1999 (now based at the USC Annenberg Centre), the WIP is now approaching 25 partners in countries and regions all over the world.
The Internet is everywhere, at work, at home and on the move. If the Prime Minister's plans come to anything, it will soon be in every school. The underlying technologies are scarcely three decades old, and some of the most popular sites, such at You Tube and Facebook, are only a few years old, but this new world of information and communication is now, for many of us, an utterly everyday experience. What is equally remarkable is how little we really know about how the net is used, where and by whom.
Researchers are tackling these and other questions on several fronts. The answers will tell us a great deal about what sort of people Australians are becoming in the new era of networks. They will also tell us something about the real prospects for turning Australia into one of those new, desirable 'knowledge economies', based on innovation and creativity. What is the point of this sort of research? A global, long-run study of the net is useful for many people: for policy makers, for consumers, businesses and innovators. This kind of knowledge has another possible benefit, if it can help make what now seems strange a bit less scary. We could then spend a little less time worrying about what the net might do to us or our children, and some more time figuring out what it can achieve for us all.
A Senior Research Fellow at Swinburne University of Technology's Institute for Social Research and at the ARC Centre of Excellence in Creative Industries and Innovation, Scott Ewing has fifteen years experience as a social researcher, both at Swinburne and in the private sector. Currently managing the Australian component of the World Internet Project, a global survey of internet use and non-use, Scott's research interests include the social impact of new technologies and the role of economic evaluation in social policy. He has taught at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level and his research output includes a book, a book chaper, numerous monographs and reports, ten journal articles and many conference papers (both published and unpublished).