Transforming Communication (Book Info, 2002)

Transforming Communication: Technology, Sustainability and Future Generations

Edited by Sohail Inayatullah and Susan Leggett | Praeger Studies on the 21st Century, Vol. No. 39, 2002 | 200 pages.

Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 2001036702 | ISBN: 0-275-96944-4

Contributing authors: Anthony Judge, Richard Neville, Darren Schmidt, Jérôme Bindé, Tony Stevenson, Sohail Inayatullah, Levi Obijiofor, Rakesh Kapoor, Paul Wildman, Bilyana Blomeley, Ivana Milojevic, Vuokko Jarva, Margaret Grace, June Lennie, Frances Parker, Rahmi Sofiarini, Alan Fricker, Mark Mahoney, Caroline Smith and Geoff Holland.

About the Book

Thus far, the communications revolution has been largely limited to the merely technological feat of converging telecommunications with personal computing. But does it hold a higher promise – to transform communication as a human act of sharing meaning about values, attitudes, and experiences? Or will it allow capitalism to pursue ever-greater economic efficiencies among the wealthy nations of the world, while ignoring the persistent and growing gap between rich and poor?

Will “empowerment” come to mean the creation of an alternative model of development communication or will wiring the world continue to mean sending computers to Africa without providing adequate training, software and servicing? Worse, will informatics create a communication flatland, where positive silence, and other ways of knowing in non-western cultures, and among women, are lost, such that we travel at the speed of information-light … to nowhere?

The contributors argue that to create sustainable futures, new ways must be found to make communication inclusive, participatory, and mindful of future generations. They present powerful transformative scenarios of web futures that they argue can lead to a more communicative future – a “gaia of civilizations”. This new means of communication must also emerge authentically from humanity’s diverse cultures, be more concerned with the quality of information shared, and be transformed from its technocratic bias. This book will be of interest to scholars in a variety of fields concerned with issues of communication, culture, and globalization.

Table of Contents


  • Transforming Communication for Future Generations, Sohail Inayatullah

Part I – Future Generations

  • Future Generation through Global Conversation¾In Quest of Collective Wellbeing through Conversation in the Present Moment, Anthony Judge
  • Seizing the Moment for Future Generations, Richard Neville
  • Conversations with the Ghosts of the Future—Some Theoretical Problems and Practical Opportunities, Darren Schmidt
  • The Ethics of Future Generations, Jérôme Bindé

Part II – Communication Futures

  • The Net and Our Social Futures, Tony Stevenson
  • From the Information Era to a Gaia of Civilisations, Sohail Inayatullah
  • The Telephone—Africa’s Future in the Age of Technology, Levi Obijiofor
  • The Techno-brahmins and the Futures of Communication, Rakesh Kapoor
  • Magani Whirlpools: An Indigenous Metaphor and Process to Reconcile the Past for the Future, by Paul Wildman and Bilyana Blomely

Part III – Technology, Women and Power

  • Creating Communication Spaces for Not Yet So Virtual People, by Ivana Milojevic
  • Rural Women’s Futures and Cooperative Solutions, by Vuokko Jarva
  • Voices from Elsewhere: Empowering Electronic Conversations among Women, by Margaret Grace and June Lennie
  • Landless Rural Women Creating Sustainable Futures, by Frances Parker and Rahmi Sofiarini

Part IV – Sustainability and Future Generations

  • The Legacy of Technology, by Alan Fricker
  • Global Food Policy: Like Winning a Game of Poker on the Titanic?, by Mary Mahoney
  • Permaculture: Hope and Empowerment for a Sustainable Future, by Caroline Smith
  • Why Consider Future Generations?—And How to Consider Them More Fully, by Geoff Holland
  • Index

Comments on Transforming Communication

Communication is a tired imperative and by now an old academic discipline. Transforming communication is, therefore, something worth doing. This is an interesting book because whilst it is a critical work it is also optimistic. The optimism resides in its rediscovery of that part of communication often neglected – listening. Listening to voices often neglected in mainstream academia, the book allows spaces for contributors from non-western perspectives, from spiritual perspectives and from the future. The optimism also flows from the action oriented perspective of many of the contributors. Although optimistic the book makes no rash promises… the transforming of the title suggests a process in progress. In my view it is a process moving in the right direction.

Greg Hearn

Associate Professor of Media and Communication

Faculty of Creative Industries, Queensland University of Technology

Insightful, compelling, multi-perspectival, and replete with un-conventional wisdom, this eclectic book, the compilation of a distinguished body of leading trans-disciplinary scholars, may serve as a bifurcation-point, signaling the under-recognized transformative/ transcendent potential of communication, communication technologies and more importantly communicativeness, for the betterment of human interactions, social re-design, and environmental rejuvenation.

David Lindsay Wright, Futures Researcher

The Communication Centre, Queensland University of Technology

Purchase via Amazon

Posted in Books, External publishers, Technology and Futures and tagged .