Intercultural Information Ethics in the Global Information Ecosystem: Opportunities and Challenges (SIG III)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010, Half Day Morning, 8:30am-12:30pm 

As our information ecosystem becomes increasingly global, navigating these streams requires renewed focus on the intercultural nature of information ethics and the role of information within human rights. UNESCO’s 2003 statement on the ‘Promotion and use of multilingualism and universal access to cyberspace’ argued that ‘Member States and international organisations should recognise and support universal access to the internet as an instrument for promoting the realisation of the human rights as defined in Articles 19 and 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ (UNESCO 2003). In response, the information ethics community has worked to adopt a Global Code of Ethics, holding numerous events in regions across the globe: Karlsruhe (2004), Santo Domingo (2006), Strasbourg (2007), Tsthwane (2007), Hanoi (2008), Magaliesburg (2009).

While the declarations issued from each regional meeting share a re-stating of the values and principles expressed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we must recognize how the relevant information ethical issues can and will be understood differently according to different cultural frameworks.

This workshop will bring together scholars from these different cultural frameworks to assess the opportunities and challenges presented by attempts to navigate the various regional “streams” of information and develop a Global Code of Information Ethics

This half-day workshop is intended for anyone currently engaged with issues of intercultural information ethics, especially on a global scale. In particular, it seeks to further discussion among those scholars already working on the task of developing a Global Code of Ethics, as outlined by UNESCO in the previous section. Finally, the
workshop will also provide PhD students and faculty who are new to issues of intercultural information ethics with an opportunity to learn about the state of the field today.

Toni Carbo (moderator)

Dennis Ocholla (South Africa)

Soraj Hongladarom (Thailand)

Rafael Capurro (Germany)

Middle East
Mohammed Aman (USA/Egypt)

North America
Thomas Froehlich (USA)

This half-day workshop will feature a series of mini-presentations from region representatives addressing the most pressing ethical issues in their respective areas of the world. Discussions will be guided by the major themes that emerge from the talks, which may include (but will not be limited to): digital divides, access to information/knowledge, privacy, intellectual property rights and the asymmetric flow of information. Presenters will submit a brief summary of their remarks ahead of the workshop so that the organizers and session moderator may plan for discussion accordingly. 

Each regional report would focus on the following items:

  1. What are the main issues in information ethics that confront your region today?
  2. What do you feel are the emerging issues in information ethics that your region must prepare for?
  3. What opportunities do you see for an intercultural exchange, or the creation of a "global information ethics", in terms of the challenges facing your region?
  4. What are the major challenges within your region that might prevent benefiting from an intercultural exchange of knowledge, expertise, solutions in information ethics.
  5. What is necessary for your region to overcome these challenges?

Projected schedule is as follows:
8:30 - 8:40: Welcome (Britz, Johnson)
8:40 - 8:55: Introductions (all)
8:55 - 9:00: Presentation guidelines (Carbo)
9:00 - 11:00: Regional reports (including break)

• Africa - Dennis Ocholla

• Asia - Soraj Hongladarom

• North America - Tom Froehlich (TBC)

• Europe – Rafael Capurro (video presentation) 

• Middle East - Mohammed Aman

11:00- 12:10: Group discussions and feedback

12:10 - 12:30: Reflection & Next Steps (Britz, Johnson, Carbo)


Catherine Johnson, University of Western Ontario
Johannes Britz, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

This workshop is free to all meeting attendees; registration is required.

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