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Future of World Society
Jamais Cascio, 14 Apr 04

Are you going to be in Zurich, Switzerland, this June? If so, you may want to register for the Future of World Society symposium, taking place June 23-24 at the University of Zurich. The one-sentence description of the conference should give you a hint as to the tone of the gathering: "The symposium's subject focuses on the historical and structural aspects of internationalisation and, related to the latter, the contemporary trends of social, political, and economic integration as well as disintegration."

Okay, so it's not likely to be a Burning Man preview. But the notion of thinking about global issues from a system approach is one we heartily endorse, and world-system theory can be an interesting method of getting outside of the confines of specific academic cateogories. The symposium seems a bit too focused on traditional social sciences, in my view; while the program includes talks on globalization (economics) and terrorism (politics), there's nothing to be found on the environment as a cross-national commons, or on the role of information and communication technologies in empowering social and political networks.

Nonetheless, the symposium could be interesting to attend -- and registration is free. Unlike so many conferences these days, this one isn't trying to turn a profit. Space is limited (although they are setting aside 30 spots for Ph.D. students), so make your reservations early...

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