05.09.2008 | What is a ‘Knowledge Society'?
Knowledge economy…knowledge worker…knowledge creation…knowledge society….Are these mere buzz words or do they represent a changing society? This was the topic of a gathering of European researchers and academics in Munich this week to discuss a European strategy for handling ‘knowledge’ in an knowledge-based economy. While a theoretical or philosophical discussion of ‘knowledge’ is interesting – we must talk in practicalities – how can knowledge bolster economic growth and jobs? Likewise, what does it mean for the intellectual property system – particularly patents? Patents are in fact central for a knowledge – based economy. They provide the means to trade knowledge and for companies to create intellectual assets. The challenge in managing a post-industrial, knowledge-based economy is that more knowledge creates more uncertainty. In other words, the more we know-the more we know we don’t know…so questions prevail. Is knowledge tradable? If so, are there ethical implications of trading knowledge? And what, in fact, is a ‘knowledge society’?