Socio-economics at the Joint ITU-T / ISO Workshop on "Future Networks Standardization"

posted 21 Jun 2012, 07:24 by Martin Waldburger
On June 11, 2012, the one-day Joint ITU-T SG 13 and ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 6 Workshop on “Future Networks Standardization” took place at ITU Headquarters, in Geneva, Switzerland. Both the ITU-T and the ISO have study groups focusing on standardizing Future Networks (FN). Accordingly, this workshop's goal was to identify commonalities and differences in the work progressed by each group, and to assess if those differences can be solved.

Representatives of the ITU-T as well as of ISO gave insight into ongoing activities regarding FN standardization. It became clear in many presentations throughout the workshop that FN technology reaches out to socio-economic and environmental dimensions in multiple ways. In consequence, FNs were characterized by Takashi Egawa, Rapporteur of Question 21, ITU-T SG13, as follows:
"Future networks are not limited to network aspects but consider all aspects of networking and services. Future networks do not consider only technical issues but also environmental and socioeconomic aspects."

In this context, Martin Waldburger (University of Zurich, SESERV) stressed in his presentation why socio-economic awareness is necessary for the development of FN technology. In that respect he stated that many technologies have been found to lack in terms of marked adoption - which, to a great extent, may be rooted in a technology design that was not incentive-compatible with the relevant stakeholders. He explained that engineers typically think of technical design goals and in doing so may risk to neglect the socio-economic layer of technology. Accordingly, the traditional design goals of effectiveness, efficiency, modularity, and security will remain important, while he argued that (since FN technology will reach multiple stakeholders) the understanding of socio-economic aspects will facilitate already at design time an anticipation of an FN technology's impact.

He then referred to the social and economic awareness objective stated in the ITU-T Recommendation Y.3001 just as the economic incentive design goal. He argued that Y.3001 recommends technologies to be designed to these ends, but lacks recommendations on suited methods to achieve the socio-economic design goals and objectives that Y.3001 defines. This lack of recommended methods to anticipate the socio-economic impact of FN technology at design time constitutes the motivation and main scope for the Y.FNsocioeconomic Recommendation (Y.FNsocioeconomic is currently in draft status). He continued by discussing the structure of Y.FNsocioeconomic, including the tussle concept, tussle analysis, and recommended methods to implement the three major steps of the tussle analysis. He then presented a short tussle evolution example and he outlined the structure of the tussle analysis meta-method. He concluded that engineers need to be aware of socio-economic aspects, to achieve the goal of long term success and the assessment of the adoption potential of their technology.

The full talk is available as an audio webcast (jump to 1h 07min in the webcast), including Q&A after the talk. The slide set is embedded below: