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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Susana Finquelievich

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

My career as a Researcher started early: soon after getting my Architect’s Degree, I obtained a grant to study in the Postgraduate Course on Urban and Regional Studies, at the Technical University of Szczecin, Poland, in 1976. In March 1976, a military coup d´Etat took over the government in Argentina. I went to Paris, where I started a Master’s Degree at the Université Paris VIII, while I earned my living as a baby-sitter. Due to my previous studies, I was allowed to finish my Master in one year. Then I started my PhD studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, with Dr. Manuel Castells as my thesis Director. In May 1980 I finished my Ph.D. in Social Sciences with a Thesis on: "Urban Social Movements and the Production of the City".

Europe was shaken by the oil crisis. It was time for energy savings. I got a Postdoctoral grant from the Swedish Institute for Building Research to work on Urban Energy Economy at Lund University. Back in Paris, I worked as Latin American Research Coordinator at the UNU Program “Food/Energy Nexus” for six years. Meanwhile, I collaborated with diverse research institutions on Social Sciences and New Technologies. It was a definite turning point: I decided to redirect my future research work towards the social impacts of ICTs.

I returned to Buenos Aires in January 1987, as part of a UN “Brain Repatriation” Program, and took my present position as Senior Researcher at National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET). At that time, only a few Latin American researchers were working on the social issues of technological innovation. The interactions between ICTs and the city remained unexplored. I trained young researchers to build my own research team.

I have created the Research Program on Information Society at the Research Institute Gino Germani, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires (FSOC-UBA) (http://www.fsoc.uba.ar). Besides teaching at the Sociology Career, and tutoring postgraduate thesis, I am coordinating research on ICTs and Development in Metropolitan Areas, and a Cooperation Project between Brazil and Argentina, in which I focus on how and to which extent innovation environments, such as technopoles, contribute to local and regional development and to social inclusion. The case studies are Petropolis-Technopolis (80 Kms. from Rio de Janeiro), and the Santa Fe and Rosario Technological Parks, in Argentina.

As for the long-term significance of my work, I am developing research on ICTs and poverty alleviation in Latin America and the Caribbean, engaged on the social and economic possibilities offered by the New Economy to peripheral countries and excluded social groups. I am also analyzing the free-trade agreements signed by Mercosur countries and India, regarding the offshore-outsourcing and exchange of high-technology goods and services, since these contracts will have long-term consequences on the Region’s development.

I am founding member and President of LINKS, Civil Association for the Development of Information Society (http://www.links.org.ar). It’s the first Argentine Civil Association specialized in the study and advance of Information Society, in its social, ethical, and economic aspects. LINKS members participate in theoretical, operational and empiric research activities, as well as in educational, managerial, and dissemination actions. LINKS partakes in international networks with Universities, research centers, community networks, international organizations, and enterprises, in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Australia, US, and Canada (Social Sciences Research Council, Digital Cities, IDRC, UNESCO, Institute for Connectivity in the Americas, Community informatics Researchers, among others).

Right now I am writing a book on Civil Society Organizations and the Information Society Economy, which I hope will undo some of the prejudices about the interactions of different social agents within the New Economy, coming both from the private sector, as from community organizations.

Brief Biography

SUSANA FINQUELIEVICH, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Architect (National University of Rosario, 1973). Post Graduate Course on Urban and Regional Planning (Polytechnic University, Poland, 1976). Master of Urbanism (Université Paris VIII, 1977). Ph. D. in Social Sciences (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, 1980). Speaks, reads and writes Spanish, English, French, Italian and Portuguese.

PRESENT POSITIONS: Senior Researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research, Argentina (http://www.conicet.gov.ar); Director of the Research Program on Information Society, Institute Gino Germani, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires http://www.fsoc.uba.ar/invest/iigg/index.htm. Professor of Introduction to Information Society, Career of Sociology, UBA. Professor at the Master of Communication, Enredando, Barcelona, Spain, http://enredando.com. Professor at the Master of Communication, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO), Ecuador. President of LINKS (http://www.links.org.ar). Honorary Professor at Central Queensland University, Australia.

Previous positions: Former Research Secretary, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires (http://www.fsoc.uba.ar) 2002-2003. Researcher and Coordinator of urban projects in Latin America with the Food/Energy Nexus Program, United Nations University, Paris. Consultant for UNU, UNHCR, WCED, UNESCO, Ministère du Temps Libre, de la Jeunesse et des Sports (France), Centre de Prospective et d'Evaluation (France), Agence Française pour la Maîtrise de l'Energie (France), Electricité de France, OCDE, Municipality of Buenos Aires, among others. Senior researcher at the Centre of Urban and Regional Studies (CEUR).

BOOKS: FOOD AND ENERGY IN LATIN AMERICA: PROVISIONING THE URBAN POOR, published by FEN-UNU, Paris, 1986. NUEVAS TECNOLOGIAS EN LA CIUDAD. INFORMACIÓN Y COMUNICACIÓN EN LA COTIDIANEIDAD, Centro Editor de América Latina, Buenos Aires, 1992. ¿CIBERCIUDADES? INFORMÁTICA Y GESTIÓN MUNICIPAL, http://www.links.org.ar/infoteca/cyberciudades,libro.pdf. LA CIUDAD Y SUS TICs, compiled with Ester Schiavo, Buenos Aires, 1998; ¡CIUDADANOS, A LA RED! Buenos Aires, 2000. E.gov, e-book, Barcelona, 2002, http://www.quadernsdigitals.net/apli/qd.php?accionMenu=biblioteca.VisualizaLibroIU.visualiza&filtro_categorias=&libro_id=786

Chapters in the following books: LES SCIENCES SOCIALES ET LE CHANGEMENT SOCIO-POLITIQUE, Paris, 1984; CONSTRUCCION Y ADMINISTRACION DE LA CIUDAD LATINOAMERICANA, Buenos Aires, 1990; REESTRUCTURACION ECONOMICA GLOBAL, Buenos Aires, 1990. ESTADO Y SOCIEDAD: LAS NUEVAS REGLAS DEL JUEGO, Buenos Aires, 1997. COMMUNITY INFORMATICS: Enabling Communities with Information Technologies, Vancouver, 2000. EL HABITAR URBANO, PENSAMIENTO, IMAGINACION Y LÍMITE, Buenos Aires, 2001. REPENSANDO A EXPERIENCIA URBANA DA AMERICA LATINA, Rio de Janeiro, 2001.

“Tecnologías y gestión local en Argentina: Experiencias y perspectivas”, ED. homo Sapiens, Buenos Aires, 2002. “El nuevo rostro de América Latina: Ciudades, planeamiento y acción”, CLACSO, Rio de Janeiro, 2003. E- gobierno y participación ciudadana a través de TIC: Los casos de Buenos Aires y Montevideo”, en: Cristina Díaz, Rita Grandinetti y Patricia Nari, comp. Tecnologías y gestión local en Argentina: Experiencias y perspectivas, Homo Sapiens Ediciones, ISBN Nº 950-808-349-2, Rosario, 2002. “Social Organization Through the Internet: Citizens Assemblies in Argentina”, in: Stewart Marshall, Wallace Taylor, and Xinghuo Yu, Editors: Closing the digital divide: transforming regional economies and communities with information technology, Westport, Conn.; London: Praeger, 2003. “Mercosur. gov. Gobierno electrónico en Argentina, Uruguay y Brasil”, in: Rodrigo Araya Dujisin (Editor), América Latina Punto Gov. Casos y tendencias en Gobierno Electrónico, FLACSO Chile, Santiago de Chile, 2003. Susana Finquelievich et al.: TIC, desarrollo y reducción de la pobreza: Políticas y propuestas, IIGG, Buenos Aires, 2004. “Ciudades y redes telemáticas: centralidades y periferias en la sociedad informacional”, in: Ana Clara Torres Ribeiro, Coordinator: El rostro urbano de América Latina CLACSO, Buenos Aires, 2004. “Mercosur. gov. Gobierno electrónico en Argentina, Uruguay y Brasil”, in: Rodrigo Araya Dujisin (Editor), América Latina Punto Gov. Casos y tendencias en Gobierno Electrónico, FLACSO Chile, Santiago de Chile, 2004.