This initial Roadmap seeks to outline proposed next steps regarding the establishment of the nascent Network of Interdisciplinary Internet & Society Research Centers (in the following referred to as ‘NoC’ or ‘the Network’). It incorporates the valuable feedback that came out of the Symposium on “Internet- Driven Developments: Structural Changes and Tipping Points” that took place at Harvard University on December 6-8, 2012.1
With the goal of promoting the Network’s narrative and vision—outlined in the accompanying Guiding
Principles—through concrete action, the following activities are proposed:
I. Learning Calls
In order to facilitate increased regional and global cooperation and collaboration among Network participants and other interested stakeholders, we are planning to organize a series of learning calls around specific content-related issues. These calls may be led by an individual representative of a participating center or a small team of collaborators and can take place in the context of other related Network activities such as Network events. We have gathered exciting ideas for initial learning calls and would kindly invite participating centers to propose further topics for discussion.
Network activities will include a range of virtual and in-person events such as conferences and formal and informal meetings. To the extent helpful, learning calls will precede these events.
Some Network participants have already offered to host Network events at their home institutions, with a potential focus on topics such as social network theory, ICT laws and innovation, and the implications of big data for privacy and security. More information on these events will be forthcoming.
III. Researcher Exchanges
The mapping of researcher exchange opportunities has been identified as a major future contribution of the NoC to the academic Internet and society landscape. We will therefore aim to facilitate exchanges among participating institutions through a concerted effort to map opportunities for fellowships, internships, summer schools etc., and look forward to establishing a working group to drive this process.
IV. Online Presence
Thus far, the information on the webpage put up by the Berkman Center after the December 2012
Symposium provides an initial overview on the NoC; other participating Centers are invited to link to, or present a version of this content on their own websites. In light of future NoC activities and the facilitating role of the Network, a dedicated website will be set up.
V. Towards a Shared Curriculum and Potential Teaching Effort
One envisioned NoC activity focuses on the creation of a shared Internet and society curriculum and associated teaching events. The Berkman Center has offered to host a learning call to discuss this project in greater detail and invite Network participants to contribute to this interdisciplinary curriculum-building effort.
The Network is dedicated to openness and flexibility. In our public messaging and communication with participants, we will therefore aim to be as open and informative as possible, with the goal of serving a truly facilitating function. We invite all Network participants to communicate with us as openly as possible regarding feedback, suggestions, and planned or potential activities relating to the Network.