South America Flow-bn-m-marco

Digital communication flow in 2016 for Latin America, whose digital communications are practically spinning around a unique hub outside Latin America. It therefore exhibits an structural lack of self-organisation capacity.

By: José María Díaz-Nafría (Universidad de León, Spain | Munich University of Applied Sciences), Teresa Guarda (Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena, Ecuador)

Published in: K. Von Helmolt, D. Ittstein (eds.), Interkulturalität digital – Digitalisierung interkulturell?!, Hannover: Ibidem Verlag.


Intercultural life requires, first of all, a dense net of connections among people belonging to the same culture and with the components of the context in which this culture exists; secondly, a weaker but nevertheless effective network where interactions among different cultures take place. The former is a necessary condition for the very existence of cultural life and its capacity to evolve; the latter is necessary for communication and cooperation between different cultures, therefore, it creates the intercultural space where intercultural life properly exists.

The current digital networks, backed up by big-data technologies, connect people, processes, data, and things, turning information into actions, creating new capabilities and extraordinary opportunities. These digital networks allegedly enable a perfect symbiosis in the interaction between people and machines anywhere, at any time, using any device. In principle, as it is commonly stated, they seem to provide linkage between virtually everybody and everything, thus far exceeding the aforementioned basic requirements for intercultural life. Yet, what is the actual control we really have regarding this connectedness for individuals and cultures? How pervasive is this connectedness really? Is it accessible for everybody and every culture in the same way? What are the filtering mechanisms that make the signalling effective at different levels, and particularly among cultural and intercultural levels? …


Network topology similar to Internet.

By: J.M. Díaz-Nafría (Faculty of Systems & Telecommunications, Universidad Estatal Península de Santa Elena, La Libertad, Santa Elena, Ecuador | Universidad de León, Leon, Spain | Department of General and Interdisciplinary Studies, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Munich, Germany)

Published in: Elias G. CARAYANNIS, David F. J. CAMPBELL and Marios P. EFTHYMIOPOULOS (eds.) (2018). Handbook of Cyber‐Development, Cyber‐Democracy and Cyber‐Defense, Berlin: Springer.

Abstract: Most attempts to use the potentials of information technologies in benefit of the fulfillment of the democratic requirements from the local to the global levels are
based on the power of social networks and the utilization of big-data approaches.
However, both the network itself and the portliness of data processing have fundamental limitations that need to be overcome when the size of the population is larger than a reduced group. As to cope with the related complexity, the network provides in certain conditions a characteristic structure which facilitates the emergence of new functional features and consequently a system. It is this structure – the fibers of the systemic relations – and new functionalities concerning the circulation of data what change the portliness of data processing into an appropriate percolation and management of relevant information. By these means, complexity and the corresponding information flow are managed at the lowest possible level, while cooperation and higher-level management is ready to cope just with the excess of complexity the lower level cannot manage properly by itself. But this is the very idea of subsidiarity whose application to the organization of heterogeneous societies has been a foundation of decentralized government since the sixteenth century in many different contexts.

At the age of the global information society, the necessary management of global issues (environment, geopolitics, inequality, etc.) requires both proper levelism and information management from the peoples to communities, to national authorities, and to international institutions. Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model provides a suitable approach to deploy subsidiarity with the backbone of an information and communication infrastructure based on the acquisition, circulation, and processing of relevant information to enable decentralized, democratic decision-making.

Acknowledgement: This work was carried out in 2016-2017 within the framework of Prometeo project supported by Senescyt, Ecuador.