HAR2009 is an International Technology and Security conference taking place in the Netherlands this coming August. Their call for papers (for which submissions are due in May) has an interesting request for their "Decentralization" track:
Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, most technologies have been moving towards centralization using economies of scale to create profits. The result of large centralized technologies has been concentrated power in the hands of fewer individuals with control over large amounts of cash to pay for expensive factories and infrastructure. Modern organizations like nation-states and multinationals mimic this centralization trend.
Many new technologies however are moving in the opposite direction. Cheap home computers and affordable connectivity to a global (but decentralized) network have made individuals and communities the center of creativity again. Other fields of technology that are decentralizing are energy and manufacturing (think solar and 3d-printing). We’d like to hear cool ideas about what this could mean for all of us and for the societies that we live in. Are 200 euro laptops, wifi and 3d-printers the beginning of the end of multinationals and the nation state? Does the spreading of technology give power to the people, atom bombs to the terrorists, or both? We don’t know what will happen but maybe you do. If so, we’d like to hear from you.
If you have a 3d-printer, a solar powered vehicle or a fusion-powered coffee machine, we’d like you to show your stuff and tell your tale. You will however be asked to leave your nuclear weapons at the entrance.
We thought there just might be someone from our readership that would have an interest in this. Good Luck!