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Global Brain and the future information society

We try to answer the worldview question “where are we going to?” by extrapolating the evolution of our present information society under the impact of ever more ubiquitous, powerful and intelligent ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). Our guiding metaphor is that the Internet will increasingly play the role of a distributed intelligence for humanity, i.e. a Global Brain. Thanks to a substantial donation from the Yuri Milner Foundation to promote this research, we were able to create a “Global Brain Institute  within the framework of CLEA. Moreover, F. Heylighen received an “Outstanding Technology Contribution Award” for this work from the Web Intelligence Consortium.

In 2015, we organized a conference in Vienna on The Global Brain and the Future Information Society


Representative Publications

  • Heylighen, F. (2007). The Global Superorganism: An evolutionary-cybernetic model of the emerging network society. Social Evolution & History, 6(1), 58–119.
  • Heylighen, F. (2008). Accelerating socio-technological evolution: From ephemeralization and stigmergy to the global brain. In Globalization as evolutionary process: Modeling global change (Vol. 10, p. 284).
  • Heylighen, F. (2011). Conceptions of a Global Brain: An historical review. In Evolution: Cosmic, Biological, and Social, eds. Grinin, L. E., Carneiro, R. L., Korotayev A. V., Spier F. (pp. 274–289). Uchitel Publishing.
  • Heylighen, F., & Bollen, J. (1996). The World-Wide Web as a Super-Brain: From metaphor to model. In R. Trappl (Ed.), Cybernetics and Systems’ 96. Austrian Society For Cybernetics.
  • Heylighen, Francis. (2014). Return to Eden? Promises and Perils on the Road to a Global Superintelligence. In B. Goertzel & T. Goertzel (Eds.), The End of the Beginning: Life, Society and Economy on the Brink of the Singularity.
  • Heylighen, Francis. (2016). Towards an Intelligent Network for Matching Offer and Demand: From the sharing economy to the Global Brain. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, in press.
  • Heylighen, Francis, & Lenartowicz, M. (2016). The Global Brain as a model of the future information society: An introduction to the special issue. Technological Forecasting and Social Change.
  • Last, C. (2014). Global brain and the future of human society. World Future Review, 6(2), 143–150.
  • Last, C. (2020). Global Brain Singularity: Universal History, Future Evolution and Humanity’s Dialectical Horizon. Springer International Publishing.
  • Weinbaum, D. R. (2013). A Framework for Scalable Cognition: Propagation of challenges, towards the implementation of Global Brain models. Proceedings of the European Conference on Complex Systems 2012, 559–567.