Berlin Commons Conference/Workshops/Rao

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although this workshop was merged with III/5 on Global Villages, it could be interesting to be informed about the original intention of WS4.

The Ways of Knowledge and the Means of Shaping the Habitat

Policy Implications of Different Models of Sharing Knowledge

PD Dr. Narahari Rao

There is an old Sanskrit saying that knowledge unlike other goods increases rather than decreases when shared. But what does it mean to share knowledge? There is a tendency to conceive institutions to share knowledge as infra-structures to dispense pieces of information. This has undesirable consequences, especially in the context of those people who are experiencing a change of habitat from that of rural agrarian to that of urban industrial mode of economy. Information doesn't come in isolated pieces but bundled in packages suggestively indicating which goods are desirable and in which direction to act. However the real promise of knowledge is that it would confer on those who appropriate it the power to shape their destiny and reshape their social habitat. The workshop will explore the means of fulfilling this promise by looking both into the conceptions of knowledge and the possible designs of institutions to share knowledge.