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How Social Media is Changing the World

Press Release October 4, 2012

The latest advancement in information technology provides totally new ways of obtaining information. In particular, social media is providing a previously unheard of wealth of information, resulting in totally new ways of communicating and interacting. But these technical advancements alone do not automatically lead to an efficient use of the new opportunities.

"Online communities are fundamentally changing the way in which people work together and how companies do business", says Institute for the World Economy expert Dirk Christian Dohse. "In order to get the most from the new possibilities, businesses should be pro-active and develop a social media strategy." Dohse also says that it is important to take employees' considerations seriously and integrate them into this social media strategy. "Every employee should have the opportunity to enjoy these new possibilities", says Dohse. To this end, it could be a good idea to offer relevant training, especially for older employees.

Which areas need to be rethought in order to sustain an efficient and profitable use of the internet and social media? How can the flood of information be filtered in order to encourage distribution of useful and relevant information over the internet? How can internet users be encouraged to use social media in a responsible way? How can privacy and copyright law be better protected on the internet? These and further questions will be discussed at the Global Economic Symposium in Rio de Janeiro, 16 October to 17 October 2012, which is expected to be attended by 600 experts from the fields of politics, science, economy and society.

“The Global Economic Symposium (GES) 2012 is being jointly organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW) and in collaboration with the Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV).

Further information can be found at and at the official GES-blog at

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