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GTP Presentation: Development Drivers in the Network Society


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On 2 and 3 October 2013, the GTP hosted a series of seminars and scenario planning workshops to capture ideas. In attendance at the "Imagine the Future" Seminar was a cross-sector mix of people including councillors, City and Provincial government officials, planners and urban designers, researchers, NGOS, built environment professionals, and members of the media.

This presentation by the Project Manager of the GTP considers the development drivers of the Voortrekker Road corridor for 2020, 2030 and 2040 under the theme of "the Network Society", a topic that has received a lot of attention of late.

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GTP Presentation: Development Drivers in the Network Society

  1. 1. Development Drivers in the Network Society Walter Fieuw Greater Tygerberg Partnership “Imagining the Future” seminar series
  2. 2. What is a network? • Social networks are ancient forms of social organisation • Relationships between individuals, groups, organisations, societies • Social network analysis in Sociology • Network society is different from social networks • Networks are composed of intersecting nodes: • Councils in a political network • Cities in a global network • Gangs in a crime cartel network • News teams, television systems in a broadcast network • These networks produce information, economic, social, cultural flows, which are either inclusive or exclusive
  3. 3. The Network Society • Network Society > understanding the networks that shape societies • Different interpretations on what extent networks are the basic units of society, as opposed to e.g. organisations • Information networks are creating new possibilities of interaction • Largely driven by new information technologies such as the internet, trading platforms, globalisation
  4. 4. The Network Society (2) • Global structural transformation over the past two decades • Deregulation and liberalisation of financial services in the 1980s spurred a new generation of communication tools, financial derivatives, hyper-mobility of global capital • Increased stock prices + market confidence + speculation + venture capital = Dotcom bubble (late 1990s) • Technology does not determine society: It is society! • Society shapes technology according to needs, values, interests of users • Adapt or die! Wealth, power, knowledge, are largely depedent on the ability to organise society to reap benefits of the new economy • From Manufacturing to Service Economy
  5. 5. Cities in the Network Society • Cities/urbanisation are drivers of globalisation • World City Network analysis: new research agendas into global resource flows • SMART Cities and Big Data • Infrastructure analysis through sensors, computerisation, • More efficient and informed decision making • Access to communication between citizens and government • Policy decision: deal with uncertainty or with the reality already faced by citizens. • What is the next generation of services and urban systems?
  6. 6. Network Society’s (African) urban/spatial form (Konza City)
  7. 7. The new post-colonial masterplan? (Watson) (Tatu City)
  8. 8. ICT is about more than gadgets
  9. 9. Internet access in South Africa • 12.3m internet users in SA • 1 in every 3 has access • 60% of African internet traffic is generated from South Africa • Yet access is still skewed: • Expensive • Slow connections (1/5 still use dial up) • Weak infrastructure Stats retrieved from: /af/za.htm
  10. 10. Social media in South Africa • Mxit is still a very large social network in South Africa with 7.4 million users • Drop in numbers: -2m in one year • 400 million messages sent every day • Users spend 95 minutes every day Facebook Twitter Linked-In 9.4 million users 5.5 million users 2.7 million users 40% growth year on year Fastest growing group: 23 -26 years old 129% growth in one year +800,000 users in one year 87% access via mobile Top 50 companies take 4.5 hours to reply to a tweet 34% of users aged between 25 and 34 South African Social Media Landscape 2012 by Fuseware and World Wide Worx
  11. 11. So what lies ahead?
  12. 12. Convergence of six technology forces • Mobile. Cell phones now exceed people on the planet, wearable computing is booming, data costs are dropping, and app downloads have gone wild. • Social media. Almost 1.5 billion people are on social networks, and businesses are using them to connect with customers, humanize themselves, and learn. • Data. The size of the Internet is expanding at an exponential rate – leading to the idea of big data. But it’s little bits of data delivered to us exactly when we want them (thanks to search) that are really impacting our lives. • Sensors. Sensors in technology can emulate three of the five human senses: sight, touch, and hearing. Sensors can talk to us and to each other. • Location-based services. Our location is one of the most important parts of our context. The Age of Context by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel
  13. 13. The new buzzword? • Big companies like IBM and Ericson is leading the new wave of corporate (re)branding • People + Things + Connectivity + Big Ideas = Network Society (Ericson) • Global Innovation Outlook, Smart City (IBM)
  14. 14. New role for civil society and governments? • Mentioned before: Society shapes technology • ICT development Janus-faced: deeper contradictions? • Information society > already seeing restrictions on access to information • Arab Spring mobilisation through mobile technology > Cape Town is one of the protest capitals of the world • What new civil society – government relationships can we imagine?
  15. 15. Development drivers: 2020 • Last decade: SA fails Network Society test (global recession, structural unemployment, HIV/AIDS, policy paralysis) • New Growth Path + NDP: footnote references • Following Castell’s visit in 2010: “ICT seen as industrial-age communications infrastructure for commercial distribution and regional integration. ICT’s transformative potential to drive productivity, to stimulate growth and employment, and to enable democracy is largely ignored” • International Telecommunications Development Index: South Africa has slipped from 77th in 2002 to 91st in 2007
  16. 16. Development drivers: 2030 • New wave of internet users > from 15% in 2008 to 34% in 2012. By 2030, aim to have 100% internet penetration • 11 million jobs created by 2030 (NDP) • New government service portals > education, e-commerce, skills development, improved health services • VR Corridor densification, transport orientated, quality public spaces, new manufacturing for green economy • Big data and SMART cities > more efficient and responsive cities • Sustainability transition > new energy, production and consumption networks • New Growth Path: move away from the mineral-energy complex towards mixed economy > ICT should be a cornerstone
  17. 17. Development drivers: 2040 • VR Corridor integration, Cape Town’s second metro node • Advanced manufacturing > on demand production and improved logistics • Migration likely to increase > transfer of skills, commerce networks, knowledge transfer • South to South trade networks
  18. 18. Thank you