In short terms, COPH’s Allan Alfred, just published the website networksociety.org, which is a platform dedicated to communicating the insights gained during the journey of researching for his Ph.D., bearing the project title, The DNA of our Network Society. Below, Alfred gives us some insights into his project.
The hypothesis of this project is that with the abundance of knowledge and activity on the Internet, the ability to sort and channel external knowledge production, has become one of the most important resources for an organization’s ability to evolve in our future society.
But how can an organization or a person generate new and useful knowledge through social networks? What drives the creation of networks and the sharing of knowledge through the social media? These are the kinds of questions that will be raised on this website through the next 3 years of research,in the hope of gaining an insight into the DNA of our Networked Society.
This is a highly complex field to be engaging in and therefore it requires an interdisciplinary approach that includes a diversity of perspectives. Therefore, I intend to bring together a critical and active network of approximately forty practitioners and researchers who work with different aspects of social media technologies and network theories. As a consequence, this project will use an interdisciplinary and collaborative method, where pragmatic integration of both theoretical and empirical research will ensure the projects outcome. My hope is that the combination of an in-depth investigative approach based on practical cases, can give us a direction for future development, both within the fields of academic and organizational use of social networks.
Philosophically this approach draws on the idea of training abstract thinking as a way of creating a meta-science that can connect the different approaches. The idea is rooted back to the classical philosophical tradition, e.g.. Plato (427-347 BC). One major difference though, is that where the classical philosophy had an idea of philosophy as superior to the other sciences, the role of philosophy is here as an equal partner, and through COPH, as a thinker and a collaborative knowledge-facilitator.
The aim of this Ph.D. is to contribute to the understanding of how new social media technology and cross-disciplinary networks can contribute to experimental and innovative forms of learning and knowledge creation. By understanding the opportunities and threats that are arising in the explosive development of new communication technologies, the aim is to build hubs where collaborative virtual learning cultures can help manage and filtrate the overload of information and complexity we are facing today. I am aware that these issues in both importance and scope, far exceeds what I alone can illuminate. But I hope that the outcome of this intellectual journey can help to uncover vital issues in the new virtual world we are thrown into.
As a product of this journey, the aim is to develop:
1A series of articles for publishing.
2A research stay in Silicon Valley, where I will collect empirical data in the form of visiting researchers and companies. These visits will be transformed into short films, links to new research and perhaps add new people to our network.
3A conference for the entire network in late 2012. This is done in collaboration with CIEL (Copenhagen Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab).
4Additionally, as a final product, we are planning a collaborative book project, where selected researchers and practitioners will be offered to play a part.