This seminar conducted by Manuel Castells is a follow-up to his previous STIAS seminar Informational Development and Human Development: South Africa in a Global Perspective (24–26 August 2011).That seminar formed part of a larger project between 2011 and 2013 which brought together an international network of distinguished academic researchers engaged in an empirically grounded reflection on the emerging culture of development and on the policy issues related to the new global context. The result of this effort was a volume Reconceptualising Development in the Global Information Age, edited by Manuel Castells and Pekka Himanen, published by Oxford University Press in August 2014. It brings together the discussion of the transformation of the context of development, a reflection on the values that redefine development, specific cases studies of Europe, California, Latin America, China and South Africa, and a policy oriented synthesis of the implications of this research.
The purpose of the current seminar is to present the analyses contained in this forthcoming book and to initiate a debate on the implications of this analysis for South Africa and Africa at large with a select group of academics and policy-makers. The longer-term aim is to produce a publication in line with the title of the seminar: Rethinking Development in the Global Information Age: Implications for Africa.