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Bit Bang seminar brings fresh angles to the future developments of the Internet

The Autumn seminar of the Aalto-wide doctoral course gathered again a diverse audience in an auditorium in Otaniemi’s TUAS building. The ongoing fourth Bit Bang course spent the whole autumn discussing societal, business, governance and technological aspects of the future of the Internet.

The semester’s work produced four team work reports, each taking a fresh angle to the overall topic. The reports handled copyright issues and the related everyday crime on the Web, crowdsourcing, e-democracy, and predicting the incremental and disruptive innovations in the Internet. The reports will be available in the joint publication appearing in the summer of 2012.

The Internet either changes the concept of democracy, or the Internet itself will be changed

The Internet has evolved from a network of computers and information into a network of people. Among other things, this enables a level of participation never seen before.

The Internet has become a source of decentralized bottom-up innovation, which can be utilised in many forms of crowdsourcing and open innovation. In addition to having great value to the business world, it can offer a lot in the development and improvement of democratic structures. To Vilen Looga, a Bit Bang 4 participant and a doctoral student, the interconnectivity between the development of the Internet and the democratic practices is obvious.

“The future of the Internet is dependent on the future of democracy. At the same time both are dependent on governments’ ability and willingness to embrace citizen’s participation in the society”, says Looga. “Thus the Internet either changes the ways of the democratic decision-making, or the Internet itself will be changed”, Looga continues.

Future scenarios to be built in the spring semester

In the spring the post graduate students will test their skills in scenario work. The next joint publication will thus consist of four future scenarios based on the autumn and spring group work reports.

To Professor Yrjö Neuvo, the Aalto-wide doctoral courses are a living example on how a course that gathers expertise from different fields can be both meaningful and rewarding. As a MIDE Program Leader and the driving force behind the Bit Bang courses, Neuvo has had a good view to the value of multidisciplinary approach.

“Learning to look out of the box and create meaningful scenarios in a highly multidisciplinary environment under tight schedule is probably the most important long term contribution the course offers to the students”, concludes professor Neuvo.

Bit Bang is a multidisciplinary and Aalto-wide doctoral course, that teaches the students essential skills such as team work, multidisciplinary collaboration and scenario building, as well as provide the students with global perspective and industry and business foresight. Each course produces a joint publication. They all are freely available on the web: