Global Conversations: New Horizons for Information Professionals and Students


The emergent communication and information infrastructure of the 21st century with its global, virtual, and real-time characteristics is here today. Its seamless combination of Internet, satellites, and cellular communications is transforming institutions, professions, and individuals. This paper describes how these technologies are being employed to enhance the experience of the classroom and the scholarly conference, using as its example the "Information and Restructuring for Democracy" conference held in Warsaw, Poland, in 1997 to explores issues of building national information infrastructures and implications for global connectivity in creating a civil society. Conference planners used the Internet and online conference technologies (digital cameras, CU-See Me software, modems, servers) to extend the conversation to the world. Embedded within the conference was a simultaneous global conversation among scholars from Australia, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, and the United States who interact with conference attendees from Eastern and Central Europe.

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