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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

What is the Opposite of a Knowledge Society?

What is the Opposite of a Knowledge Society?
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Author(s): Kajsa Hallberg Adu (Ashesi University College, Ghana & University of Ghana, Ghana)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 19
Source title: Impacts of the Knowledge Society on Economic and Social Growth in Africa
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Lloyd G. Adu Amoah (Ashesi University, Ghana & Strategy3, Ghana)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5844-8.ch001


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This chapter offers a critical examination of the “collaborative development model” (UNESCO, 2005) or the Knowledge Societies discourse. By comparing international indicators and flagship publications of the Knowledge Economy and the Knowledge Society, the author uncovers a paradox: How can an idea centered on knowledge, sharing, and openness further cement global and local inequalities? By employing Southern/decolonizing theory, the author suggests a response from the Global South that allows for a more complex, symphonic, and inclusive development paradigm, compared to the Western ideas of linear stages of development. Three core aspects of Knowledge Societies are highlighted: The value of sharing, financing of education, and knowledge-on-knowledge. The author contends that fully embracing the concept of Knowledge Societies entails much more than country level indexing and benchmarking; it means opening up the world in terms of trade, mobility, and data, employing new technology in cross border collaborations and acknowledging our humanity's interconnectedness or ubuntu.

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