In this book, three different but converging processes are investigated; sustainable development, globalization and technical development. Each process is complicated and multi-faceted, but here, their mutual interaction, effects and possibilities have gained attention and interest.
“Sustainable development” are words of honor in many settings today, due to the world-wide debate on how we shall lead our lives and form our societies so that the generations to come have good possibilities of leading their lives. According to the classic definition in the so called “Brundtland-report”, sustainable development involves economic, environmental as well as social consideration, and in the report, social sustainability is defined as the building of long term, stable and dynamic societies where basic human needs are fulfilled, but where local and regional values, traditions and actions are acknowledged and respected at the same time1. And in a time that has witnessed and to a large extent embraced a rapid development of technologies that in some cases seem to threaten these very basic ideas of social and cultural society, there is a pressing need to dig deeper into how technology – or rather ICTs - is related to social and cultural sustainability. Moreover, due to the process of globalization, where the mobility of people, goods and ideas is a general feature, this is a relevant issue world-wide and therefore this book will explore this question by, as previously described, going into the heart of human activities: communication.
This book is thus about the use, effects, potentials and limitations of new technology for information and communication in social settings such as private corporations, organizations, the web, societies and families. The overall aim of the book is to develop an understanding of how the different perspectives of sustainable development, globalization and technical development interact, through managerial as well as general human actions, and which measures can be taken to secure sustainable development. This means that this book, rather than answering the overall question of how mobility can meet sustainability in contemporary organizational communication, discusses and highlights different aspects of the issue.
As will become obvious to the reader, the book contains a variety of perspectives, from different parts of the world, different theoretical fields as well as different approaches. Thus, the book is to be seen as a patch work in the word’s most positive sense, which rather than being the ultimate collection building a coherent theory, brings together a collage of texts on the theme. In this book, different perspectives on organizational communication and sustainable development are displayed, indicating how the central concepts of “organizational communication”, “sustainable development” and “ICTs for mobility” can and are interpreted in a variety of ways.