Communicating Power: Technological Innovation and Social Change in the Past, Present, and Futures

by Jim Dator, John A. Sweeney, Aubrey Yee & Aaron Rosa


This is the final report for a research prospectus submitted in May 2011 by Jim Dator,  John A. Sweeney, and Aubrey Yee in response to a call for proposals on “Technology,  Innovation, and Society” (hereafter TIS) from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for  Graduate Research at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa. Focusing on category two (How  does technology change the balance of power in society?), we were awarded a grant by the  University of Hawai`i Foundation and agreed to a year-long research term commencing on  January 1, 2012. In our research prospectus, we proposed to examine how communication  technologies have contributed to changes in the structure of societies, and hence to the  distribution of political power, in the past, at present, and in four alternative futures. We also proposed to rely on a survey and analysis of existing studies for our research into the  past, produce original research on several contemporary events, utilize Futures Studies  techniques of forecasting and scenario modeling in order to develop and present the possible  four alternative futures, and develop a gaming platform based on our research.

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