We are beginning to live in an ethnocentric knowledge-based society when compared to the previous industrial society (which was rather technocentric). If industrial society mainly produces objects, the knowledge-based society will generate new relationships between social actors.

If global knowledge doubles every 9 years, in the last 10 years humanity has produced more knowledge than during the precious 7000 years of history.

When sharing physical property, it is divided.
When sharing an intangible, it is multiplied.

Serge Soudoplatoff

Information is like an onion. It is at the heart of a process whereby it can become knowledge, and knowledge supports decision-making. If it becomes opinion in a given cultural context, it becomes a form of energy capable of upsetting that environment :

The peeling of such an onion impacts several areas : management, governance, intelligence, administration, etc. :


The diagram below describes the transition between 1860 and 1990
In the US from the agricultural era to the industrial age, then services and ultimately digital information :

In fact, the media used in information processing has experienced four great leaps (1960, 1980, 1990 and 2000). It will soon undergo a fifth, the neo-technologies (2020?) :

Important transitions

During the last fifty years, the flow of information in society has undergone major changes :

In fact, two revolutions (in the sense of accelerated evolution) are ongoing (see above):

• Entertainment (continuous content and infotainment)
The glut of content has been created by the current process of personalization, which atomizes the choices of viewers. This glut has four sources:

  1. The old television, that is to say the general networks (in the US : CBS, NBC and ABC).
  2. Fiction – the series created by or for cable channels (American examples : The Voice, Dancing with the Stars).
  3. The specialized mini-systems that occupy various niches: travel, animals, food (like HBO, Showtime, etc.)
  4. Online platforms like Netflix or Amazon (Apple soon) that sell through catalogs and subscriptions. Example Netflix (1997) which in 18 years has become one of the leading producers distributors of content in the world (with 30% of all Internet traffic in North America). These platforms also offer content from Disney, Pixar and Lucasfilm. The content is offered in 17 languages ​​in 190 countries (70 million subscribers, half of the United States).

• Services (social interaction with other users)
The first generation of applications focused on three things – « Me », friends and social networks. The first generation has now been succeeded by those allowing greater sharing of information and a reorganization of our personal information and thus our individual image. They are based on the customization, and on the geographical or thematic proximity of niches (musicians, poets, designers, etc.) Currently, they reach almost all teenagers via tablets and smartphones (chapter 7, no 4).

They announce the arrival of the next generation of platforms : the Civic Tech.