Informatics and Cybernetics (communication and control) are having an increasing impact on societies and in the globalization process that is integrating them. Societies are trying to regulate this impact, and adapt it to their respective cultural infra-structures. Societies and cultures are in reciprocal co-adaptations with Information and Communication Technologies. Synergic relationships might emerge in this co-adaptation process by means of both positive and negative feedback loops, as well as feedforward ones. This would make the whole larger than the sum of its parts, generating emergent properties in the parts involved as well as in the whole coming forth. The academic, private, and public sectors are integrating their activities; multi-disciplinary groups and inter-disciplinary teams are being formed, and collaborative research and development projects are being organized in order to facilitate and adequately orient the design and implementation of the feedback and the feedforward loops, so the synergic relationships are socially positive and personally human.
One of the main purposes of the 2nd International Multi-Conference on Society, Cybernetics and Informatics (IMSCI 2008) is to bring together academics, professionals, and managers from the private and the public sectors, so they can share ideas, results of research, and innovative services or products, in a multi-disciplinary and multi-sector forum.
Educational technologies, socio-economic organizations, and socio-political processes are essential domains among those involved in the evolving co-adaptation and co-transformation between societies and cultures on the one hand, and between informatics and cybernetics (communication and control) on the other hand. Consequently, the main conferences in the context of the IMSCI 2008 Multi-Conference are the following:
- 6th International Conference on Education and Information Systems, Technologies and Applications: EISTA 2008
- 4th International Conference on Social and Organizational Informatics and Cybernetics: SOIC 2008
- 6th International Conference on Politics and Information Systems, Technologies and Applications: PISTA 2008
These three conferences are related to each other and, as a whole, are producing or might produce synergic relationships with the Information and Communication Technologies. This is why the Organizing Committees of the three of them have the purpose of combining their efforts in a way that would lead to the organization of an adequate joint event, where academics, researchers, consultants, professionals, innovators, and practitioners from the three areas might relate and interact with each other in the same event. This kind of interactions might generate possibilities of cross-fertilization and analogical thinking, as well as possibilities of new working hypothesis, ideas, and reflections on the impact, significance, and usefulness of Informatics and Cybernetics in important dimensions of educational, socio-political, and socio-economical processes, services, and products.
The relationship between education/training and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is quickly intensifying and sometimes appears in unexpected forms and in combination with original ideas, innovative tools, methodologies, and synergies. Accordingly, the primary purpose of the 6th International Conference on Education and Information Systems, Technologies and Applications (EISTA 2008) has been to bring together researchers and practitioners from both areas together to support the emerging bridge between education/training and the ICT communities.
The 4th International Conference on Social and Organizational Informatics and Cybernetics (SOIC 2008) and The 6th International Conference on Politics and Information Systems, Technologies and Applications (PISTA 2008) have been organized and collocated with EISTA 2008 and the proceedings of the three conferences have been collected in the same volumes under the general title of Society, Cybernetics and Informatics because significant relationships were found among the three of them.
In the context of EISTA 2008, practitioners and consultants were invited to present case studies and innovative solutions. Corporations were invited to present education/training information systems and software-based solutions. Teachers and professors were invited to present case studies, specifically developed information systems, and innovative ideas and designs. Educational scientists and technologists were invited to present research or position papers on the impact and the future possibilities of ICT in educational systems, training processes, and methodologies. Managers of educational organizations and training consultants were invited to present problems that might be solved by ICT or solutions that might be improved by different approaches and designs in ICT.
EISTA 2008 provides a forum for the presentation of solutions and problems in the application of ICT in the fields of education/training. Authors of the papers included in the proceedings provided diverse answers to the following questions:
- What is the impact of ICT in education and training?
- How are ICTs affecting and improving education and training? What networks and models are emerging?
- How are universities, schools, corporations and other educational/training organizations making use of ICT?
- What electronic tools are there to facilitate e-learning, distance education and co-operative training?
In the context of PISTA 2008/SOIC 2008, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are transforming our societies and our governments at a remarkable speed. Government departments are seeing the importance of delivering services electronically. Political parties have begun using ICT in their processes. Yet, despite this increased need, we find, as John Harvey-Jones calls it, a Dialogue of the Deaf between politicians and the ICT community. Politicians need to understand the potential role of the Internet in politics and the ICT community needs a better understanding of politics if this Dialogue of the Deaf is to be transformed into a mutually comprehensive dialogue and a synergic relationship. The purpose of the International Conference on Politics and Information Systems, Technologies and Applications (PISTA 2008) is to contribute to this emerging dialogue and to aid in bridging the gap between the two communities.
In order to contribute to the creation of relationships between ICT and Sociopolitical communities, ICT researchers and professionals were invited to present their experience and research as it pertains to the application of ICT in politics, governmental action, and political science. Practitioners and consultants were invited to present case studies and innovative solutions. Corporations were invited to present political information systems and software-based solutions to political issues. Public servants were invited to present case studies requiring technology: information systems, innovative ideas,and designs that were developed with political purposes in mind. Political and social scientists were invited to present research or position papers on the impact and future possibilities of ICT in social systems and political processes. Politicians and political consultants were invited to present problems that might be solved by means of ICTs or solutions that might be improved by different approaches and designs in ICT.
The main objective of PISTA 2008 has been to provide a forum for the presentation of both the solutions and problems of ICT applications in politics and society. The following questions need answers from a variety of different perspectives:
How do ICTs impact society?
- How are ICTs affecting democracy and the potential to make joint and collective decisions in government?
- What networks and models are emerging to provide support for political decision systems?
- How are political parties, governments, and campaign groups using IT systems and electronic communications in particular?
- What electronic tools already exist to facilitate democratic discussions and decision-making processes?
- What ethical and legal issues will be a part of the social transformation produced by the ICTs?
On behalf of the Organizing Committees, we extend our heartfelt thanks to the 142 members of the Program Committees, from 37 countries; to the 362 additional reviewers, from 65 countries; and to the 471 reviewers from 61 countries, for their efforts in making the non-blind reviews, who contributed to the quality achieved in IMSCI 2008. A total of 956 scholars, researchers, and professionals made 2414 reviews, which generated an average of 4.66 reviews per submission (518 submissions were received). Each registered author had access, via the conference web site, to the reviews that recommended the acceptance of their respective submissions. Each registered author could get information about: 1) the average of the reviewers’ evaluations according to 8 criteria, and the average of a global evaluation of his/her submission; and 2) the comments and the constructive feedback made by the reviewers, who recommended the acceptance of his/her submission, so the author would be able to improve the final version of the paper.
In the organizational process of IMSCI 2008, about 518 papers/abstracts were submitted. These pre-conference proceedings include about 151 papers that were accepted for presentation. The organizers of the invited sessions accepted about 34 papers from the papers/abstracts submitted directly to them by the respective authors. Consequently, these pre-conference proceedings contain a total of 185 papers. I extend our thanks to the invited sessions’ organizers for collecting, reviewing, and selecting the papers that will be presented in their respective sessions. The submissions were reviewed as carefully as time permitted, but they were not formally refereed, it is expected that most of them will appear in a more polished and complete form in scientific journals.
We also extend our gratitude to the co-editors of these proceedings, for the hard work, energy and eagerness they shown preparing their respective sessions. We express our inmense gratitude to Professor Freddy Malpica for distinguishing this conference by accepting the position of Honorary Chair of EISTA 2008 and the past conferences of PISTA 2007 and SOIC 2007; to Professor Friedrich Welsch for serving as the Program Chair of the three conferences that are part of IMSCI 2008: EISTA/PISTA/SOIC 2008. We also extend our gratitude to Professor Belkis Sánchez, for her relentless support in the organizing process and to Maria Sánchez for her hard work in creating the hardcopy version of the proceedings. We extend our thanks to Juan Manuel Pineda, Juan Pinto, and Dalia Sánchez for the support they provided to the conference web site and for developing the CD containing the conference proceedings. We would also like to thank the support and the secretariat staff that helped in the troubleshooting activities.
Professor Andrés Tremante,
EISTA 2008’s General Chair.
Professor José Vicente Carrasquero,
SOIC 2008’s General Chair.
Professor Angel Oropeza,
PISTA 2008’s General Chair.