Economic History Roundtable 2018
Information Revolutions: A Roundtable Discussion
Date: Thursday 24 May 2018
Venue: Riddel Hall, Queen’s Management School, Belfast
Download a report of the event by clicking here.
We live and work in a remarkably information-intensive world. Global information networks in every sector of contemporary life have circulated more information faster and with unpredictable effects on social, political and economic arrangements. The rise of these global information networks has created a powerful engine for a “Fourth Industrial Revolution” based on an information-intensive, knowledge-based economy and society. Massive potential opportunity – and disruption – are already manifesting themselves. These changes bring myriad opportunities and threats to economic and social development. A globalised economy has diminished the costs of distance and time, integrating providers and customers around the world. Yet threats of monopolisation, and concerns over security and privacy have fuelled calls for greater regulation and increasing pressure for ‘globalisation’.
For all its novelty and possibly unprecedented scale, these economic and social transitions have long historical roots, and their effects have been witnessed before. We believe that our collective understanding of similar challenges in the past can constitute a vital source of insight and experience to address the opportunities and challenges facing us now.
The May 24th roundtable gathers together experts in academia, business and government in the North Atlantic world to link historical perspectives with contemporary corporate and government insights. The objective is to deepen understanding of the long-run effects of information revolutions on three related themes: The Nature of the Firm, Markets and Competition, and The Role of Government. Each theme will be given a short address by a historian and contemporary speaker to provide talking points.