General Outline of "Topographies and Topologies of Knowledge"
Knowledge has undoubtedly become an integral part of contemporary society and economy. As a relational resource, learning requires bringing together distributed knowledge from different places to one single – physical or virtual - location. Knowledge emanates from social interaction and collective learning, whether between people, companies or networks. Social network analysis has enabled new research designs and has yielded groundbreaking empirical discoveries, setting the stage for relational thinking in social science. New theoretical perspectives, methodologies, and concepts have been developing within relational thought. Whenever a new paradigm emerges, it does not only yield new concepts and answers to dominant research questions, but it also brings new research questions to the fore. This is where our symposium comes in and where we seek to facilitate close dialogue between leading experts in their fields.
Some of the challenges that motivate this symposium recur around the following questions:
- How can the culture and connectivity paradigms be reconciled in relational theories of knowledge?
- How can network theory capture non-relational practices of collective learning?
- What opportunities offer whole networks for knowledge creation and learning at different regional scales?
- What are the forces that generate knowledge networks and how can learning in networks be coordinated?
- How do processes of emergent change and institutional entrepreneurship affect knowledge networks?