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A 1-page description of the Nexa Center is available here.
The Internet considered in a wide sense - and therefore including topics such as Big Data, Internet of Things, Factory 4.0, Online privacy, and Computer Ethics - is a powerful technology. A technology at the same time disruptive, generative, pervasive and constantly changing. Founded in November 2006, the Nexa Research Center for Internet and Society at the Politecnico of Torino is an independent research center, focusing on quantitative and interdisciplinary analysis of the force of the Internet and of its impact on society. A force that can produce radical changes in the way reality is lived, perceived, organized, as well as trigger extraordinary opportunities for development.
As usual when facing new phenomena, the novelty and complexity of these changes, of their dynamics and of their interactions with development opportunities beg significant efforts in order to revise concepts and methodologies of research. Understanding the Internet, its limitations and potential not only deserves such effort, but it is an indispensable course of action to ensure economic, technical, scientific, cultural and social development for the years to come.
The Nexa Center for Internet & Society is born from the activities of an initially informal interdisciplinary group – with expertise in technology, law and economics – that grew up in Torino from 2003 and that has conceived, designed and implemented a number of initiatives: Creative Commons Italia (2003-present), CyberLaw Torino (2004), Harvard Internet Law Program Torino (2005), SeLiLi, free legal advice on open licenses for creators and programmers (2006-present), COMMUNIA, the European Commission-funded thematic network of 50 partners aimed at studying the digital public domain (2007-2011), Neubot, a software project on network neutrality (2008-present), and LAPSI, the European thematic network on legal aspects of public sector information funded by the European Commission (2010-2012).
The Nexa Center cooperates with international partners for the development of joint interdisciplinary research projects and initiatives. In October 2014, the Nexa Center took the role of coordinator of the Global Network of Internet & Society Research Centers (NoC); launched by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University in December 2012, the Network supports the cooperation among the main Internet & society research centers worldwide. The Nexa Center has partnership agreements with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University (2011) and with the Internet & Society Lab at Keio University, Tokyo (2012). In 2013 the Nexa Center has become part of the Global Network Initiative (GNI), a multi-stakeholder international group devoted to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in the ICT sector.
In April 2012, the Nexa Center has launched the “Digital Revolution” undergraduate course at the Politecnico di Torino, the first full-scale teaching activity entirely planned by a member of the Nexa Center (Nexa co-director Juan Carlos De Martin), focused on Internet & Society, and involving several members of the staff of the Center, as well as prestigious guest lecturers.
On the basis of such experiences, the Nexa Center wishes to become a point of reference for Internet research in Europe (and beyond), interacting with the European Commission, regulators, local and national governments, as well as with business and other institutions – careful at preserving its academic and intellectual independence and with a special attention to the policy implications of its activities.
The Trustees of the Nexa Center – among which prof. Charles Nesson, co-founder and co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and other renown scholars and thinkers, such as prof. Stefano Rodotà and Maestro Michelangelo Pistoletto – meet in Torino at least once a year to hear about the activities of the previous twelve months and to give the Nexa staff the benefit of their judgment regarding both past activities and the priorities for the following year.
The Nexa Center is a research center of the Department of Control and Computer Engineering of the Politecnico di Torino.
Contact information available here.