FACULTAD DE INGENIERÍA, U.T.A. (CHILE), VOL. 11 Nº2, 2003,
SOCIETY OF KNOWLEDGE
the present circumstances, the society we live in should be called the
Society of Knowledge. We have left behind the times of progress, where
advantage laid on capital and labor available to society. Today, the source
of advantage resides on the capacity to acquire, transmit and apply knowledge.
information is not available uniquely to a small groups of scientists
and scholars, as in the past. On the contrary, today knowledge can be
reached by hundreds of millions of people in the internet.
At the beginning
of the year 2000 there were 2.500 million electronic pages in the web
and this number was growing at the rate of 210 million pages per month.
In the field of scientific publications, the increase of transferable
knowledge is no less dramatic, if we consider that there are 100 thousand
scientific journals circulating in the world – as we speak - compared
to 10 thousand in the 20th century.
growth of knowledge is astonishing, especially if we envision that it
took 1.750 years to double the amount of knowledge for the first time,
whereas today this happens every five years and the same process will
take place every 73 days by 2020.
As it happened
at the beginning of Modern Times and later with the advent of the Age
of Technology, nowadays the mission of the University consists of adapting
to the new paradigm, in order to successfully face the challenges of the
present and the dilemmas of the future.
the new standards for the education of the new generations, prescribed
by the new order, demands graduates will be extremely high in terms of
knowledge validity and professional competitiveness, as they will have
to regularly give proof of the validity of their qualifications, in order
to avoid professional obsolescence and ultimately, unemployment.
the present scenario, the University must take the necessary steps so
as to increase access to knowledge through a vigorous process of continuing
education and professional development, that fills the gap between older
and younger experts. It also must offer programs that are in tune with
performance standards of global validity where – in conjunction with a
rigorous professional training - leadership, entrepreneurship, English
language and technology are active components, when it comes to building
the bridge that will connect graduates with the society of knowledge.
from emerging countries, specially those in Latin America, urgently need
to identify and consider the new paradigm when elaborating their strategic
direction. This is the fundamental step, that will allow them to transform
present threats into opportunities, in order to become part of the new
Society of Knowledge.
Dr. Emilio Rodríguez Ponce