Abstract - The Information Society 20(1)

Entering the European Information Society: Four rural development projects

Pernilla Gripenberg and Ingjerd Skogseid withFrancesco Botto, Andrea Silli, and Virpi Kristiina Tuunainen

This paper compares four European ICT development projects spawned by national and EU initiatives to create the 'European information society'. These projects, which sought to support learning and better use of ICT, were all the result of opportunities opened up by political initiatives. The analysis indicates that the main problems that afflict these projects stem from varied expectations and interests of the major actors. These problems can be mitigated considerably if a feeling of ownership is generated among the participants. This sense of belonging, however, is difficult to foster in a ‘top-down’ project. Hence there is a need for a better balance between the ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ influences in the development of such projects.

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