FuturICT – Participatory Computing for Our Complex World

A discussion on the flagship project «FuturICT – Participatory Computing for Our Complex World» 
21 March, 2012, Zurich (ETHZ)

The FuturICT project is a response to the European Commission’s Flagship Call in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) – Future and Emergent Technologies (FET). It is motivated by recognizing that society and ICT form a tightly coupled system that needs to be considered as a whole, rather than as two separate systems. To this end, FuturICT aims to develop a new science of the co-evolution of ICT with society, building on an integration of expertise from the social sciences, complexity science, and ICT.

FuturICT envisages the development of sophisticated, open ICT platforms. A platform for simulation, exploration and visualization of possible techno-socio-economic scenarios – the Living Earth Platform – builds the core of the project. This platform contains interactive observatories in order to identify possible crises and opportunities earlier on, but also to give citizens, decision makers in politics, economy and society the chance to explore and recognize possible consequences of their decisions and actions.

FuturICT would be the first Big Science project addressing socio-economic challenges. It pursues new research avenues and works with novel approaches. Therefore the project raises a number of questions such as: what roles can computers play in studying socio-economic issues? What can the social sciences expect from FuturICT? In what ways may FuturICT complement the current social science landscape? What kinds of impacts are expected on other fields (economics, ethics…)? How will FuturICT address possible risks of powerful ICT systems for society?

The conference aims to inform the Swiss scientific community about the FuturICT project and its possible impacts on different fields.

The organizers welcome scientists of all fields, political decision makers, press representatives and the interested public. The conference will be held in English.