Pekka Himanen

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Date and place of birth: 1973, Helsinki, Finland

Living place: Helsinki, Finland

Theme: philosophy, informatics

ECC Participation: Congress Council

Finnish philosopher, researcher on the information society, spiritual patron of the libertarian programmers. He is a member of the European Culture Congress Council. He will also participate in "The Cyberiad" panel discussion on the influence of new media on contemporary culture.

The hacker ethic suggested by him was meant an example to be followed in the era of internet capitalism, when work stimulated by the need to create, free exchange of knowledge and information, should turn into a lifestyle. A scientific authority in his homeland, Himanen had a show entitled “The Net Academy” on Finnish TV1. He co-founded Global Dignity association, the goal of which is to promote values enabling each man to live with dignity.

“If Europe does not keep its high values alive, this will be a very harsh world.”

Himanen studied philosophy at the University in Helsinki. He was granted PhD at the age of 20 and continued his studies - initially in England, later at the Stanford University and at Berkeley, where he supervised the research program of the Information Society Centre in the years 2002-2005. Himanen taught at the Oxford Internet Institute and IN3 Institute in Barcelona. He is the professor of the University of Art and Design in Helsinki; collaborates with the Institute of Informatics, located in the Finnish capital.

He published i.a. “The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age” (2001) and “The Information Society and the Welfare State” (2002) written together with Manuel Castells. The book presents the Scandinavian phenomenon where the innovative competitive economy merges with the notion of the welfare state.

Himanen was the counselor to the Finnish president and government in the field of network society. In 2008 he prepared a report for the Parliament, entitled “Challenges of the Global Information Society.” It is the analysis of the most important issues of the world economy in the forthcoming years. The top ten trends include e.g. the increasing profitability of biotechnology in the face of the ageing Western societies and further investments in the high technology on the part of the most developed countries, with the simultaneous domination of new powers – China, India, Brasil – in the production not depending on the complex resources (new global division of work).

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