Siciliano Lecture at U of U Focus on Advances and Effects of Technology

Oct. 28, 2005 – In the 1980s, author Howard Rheingold, cyberspace and digital guru, predicted the rise of the Internet. In the 1990s he wrote about virtual communities. Now, he is studying the way lives, businesses and institutions are being changed by today’s emerging technologies, including mobile communications, ubiquitous computing, geographical position sensing and social reputation technologies.


The featured speaker for the ninth annual Rocco C. and Marion S. Siciliano Forum at the University of Utah, Rheingold will provide perspective on these issues when he presents “Smart Mobs: The Impact of Ubiquitous Instant Access on Social Networks and Social Relations,” on Thursday, Nov. 10, at noon. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Dumke Auditorium at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, located at 1665 E. South Campus Drive (410 S.).


Rheingold will share his forecasts, advice, warnings and dreams about the cyberspace revolution and will offer the audience a real-time, real-life, uncensored glimpse of the new cultures and societies emerging on the Net. He will also answer questions from the audience about how emerging technologies will affect their businesses, personal lives, political freedoms and social values.


Rheingold is a journalist, editor and the author of numerous books about computers and their implications. He attended Reed College in Portland and is the founder of Rheingold Associates, a consulting network that helps commercial, educational and nonprofit enterprises build online social networks and knowledge communities. He was also the founding executive editor of HotWire, a commercial Webzine launched by Wired magazine in 1994. His writings have been published in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese.


Rheingold has served as a consultant, sharing his concerns and solutions with many prestigious organizations, associations and corporations worldwide. These include the British Broadcasting Corporation, Sprint Telecommunications, Ford Motor Company, the Science Museum London, the Smithsonian Institute and researchers at Apple, Fujitsu, IBM, Intel, Paramount Pictures, Philips and Lucasfilms. He has appeared on CBS News, NBC Today, ABC Primetime Live and Good Morning America.


The 2005 Rocco C. and Marion S. Siciliano Forum is sponsored by the University of Utah’s College of Social and Behavioral Science with the Department of Geography. A research symposium, “Societies and Cities in the Age of Instant Access,” will follow Rheingold’s lecture and continue through Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11 and 12. The symposium is presented by the University of Utah’s Department of Geography and the Institute for Public and International Affairs.


The Siciliano Forum is an annual event that offers an open forum for students, faculty and the citizenry to focus on the most important current and long-range public issues facing America today. For more information about the forum, please contact Aleta Tew at 801-587-3556 or visit www.csbs.utah.edu.


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