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1999 waren wir beteiligt an der NGO Internet Fiesta und - in neuer Zusammensetzung - an "Global Village 99" Das geplante 4. internationale Global Village Symposium mußte leider abgesagt und auf unbestimmte Zeit vertagt werden.

Globalisierung und Technologie / Globalization and Technology Vienna City Hall, February 1995
Rethinking the City: The Changing Shape of Work in a Knowledge Society

Abstract     Lecture     Author

Eric Britton - EcoPlan International (F)



The objective of this presentation is to bring to your attention a certain amount of background information and some observations on international development and accomplishments over the last few years in support of the project considerations that have brought us all here to Vienna this week. As you are well aware, both the specific problems and the solutions currently being considered by the meeting, have some significant international counterparts which it may prove instructive to look to and discuss critically together.

Thus, there are on the one hand many instances across the OECD region of increasingly spread out cities with outlying areas that are proving not only hard to serve and access by economical and efficient transport arrangements (public and private), but also are suffering from an inability to match local job opportunities to those who live there. This is of course exactly the situation which you are faced with in several of Vienna's most recent suburban developments.

Likewise, there is also a growing wave of international interest in identifying new work concepts and technologies such as telework that hold out promise of being able to address both edges of this two-edged policy sword. It will certainly be useful to build on this background of information and accomplishment as you move ahead with your own initiatives in this area.

The paper opens by making the point that we have chosen to call telework is in the final analysis really nothing more than one sub-set of the much broader problem of work in society - a thorny challenge which under such labels as unemployment, joblessness and social unrest is baffling policy makers business people and the public in many many ways across Europe. Based on some work that we have done for the European Commission and a few other sponsors over the last several years, I have drawn up a short list of eleven observations which I believe provide an important part of the much broader context of the "problematique" that this thing we call telework needs to be addressing -- and that is the challenge of lining up what we have called "work" with the realities and needs of people and society in these closing years of the 20th century.

The report then goes on to provide a rapid overview of telework developments and prospects from an international perspective which we hope will be helpful to this meeting and the programs and policies you are now considering. The final section of this presentation concludes with a certain number of findings and conclusions that have come out of a cycle of international brainstorming sessions and meetings organized in Europe and the United States on these issues over the last two years, that have had as their objective to try to show what the role of public institutions might be in this fast developing area of activity, which in the final analysis is going to be implemented not by governments but by companies, individuals and other socio-economic groups. As will be seen, however, this still leaves an important role for wise and far sighted government.



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