The Research Group “Nordic Culture and Information Society Model” is an active validated Research Group belonging to Madrid Complutense University with reference nr. 962068.
Since the Research Group was created in 2005 its main focus has been to study the development of the Information Society model in the Nordic countries. This model is, according to experts in the field, one of the three worldwide models of Information Society, while the other two models are Silicon Valley in the US and the South East Asian Singapore model.
The Research Group has been developing its activities throughout the last ten years. The result thereof has been a continuous research activity and the dissemination of the obtained results. The last Project-Report of the group focused its research work on how and to what extent the world economic crisis affected the development of mass media and new technologies both in Spain and the Nordic countries within the framework of the implementation of the Information/ Knowledge Society (hereafter IS). On the other hand, and in line with what previous studies of the group had established, it aimed to furnish in comparative terms how the different informational models managed to cope with the current economic trend. Moreover, having in mind the EU´s 2020 Strategy and the UN´s World Summit on IS that was held in Geneve in May 2013, the task was to verify to what extent the different predicted trends will converge in 2020, including both sustainability and gender perspectives abiding to Spanish and EU´s regulations.
The transition from IS to Knowledge Society entails setting up a new paradigm provided with clear, transparent and rigorous structures related to the different implied actors. IS is thus understood as a network of communicative processes that encompass such different fields as culture, education, leisure, resource management, business activities and different services, all of which entail communicative processes.
Postindustrial society confers information and knowledge an exceptional status as the communicative flows that they develop become a source of wealth. This is why the different informational models exert such a significant influence in the creation of contemporary sociocultural settings.
The current research project starts from the ongoing economic crisis framework that has strongly affected the different mass media which had already experienced their own business drawback due to changes related to consumer habits, very much connected to the consolidation of the use of internet and the digitalization of contents.
The state of the different mass media will therefore be analyzed and the main conclusions will be related to how they have met the challenges of the economic crisis and the demands connected with the development of new technologies, especially mobile applications, both in Spain and in the Nordic countries.
How the different countries have reacted to these new challenges will be accomplished according to the differences that the Nordic countries display between themselves in order to draw conclusions that are useful for the dissemination and exploitation of results. In short, the ultimate aim is to verify the potential applicability of the Nordic model to the Spanish setting.
In general, data related to different indicators of IS are not always updated, and this means that it is at times difficult to know precisely to what extent the economic crisis hampered both the Nordic model and the Spanish variant. This makes it important to know the different starting points linked both to the Nordic countries and to Spain (GNP, public debt, unemployment rate, etc.) in order to reach balanced conclusions. One of the aims of the project is therefore to update the available data stemming from statistics provided by both national and international institutions, especially Eurostat.
However, the R&D policies that the Nordic countries have sponsored have empowered them with more efficient communication and creative industries that provide their citizens with better public services. This is precisely one of the landmarks that our research projects highlight as these policies undoubtedly have a significant impact and relevance for the EU, having in mind that they operate within a scale economy and a global communication network.
A longstanding public financing of R&D policies in the Nordic countries has indeed provided them with strategic planning leading to what is known as the triple helix, that is, a close relationship between technological infrastructure, entrepeneurship and government institutions, and this has enabled the Nordic countries to head since the 90´s the main IS indicators and to better cope in recent years with the economic crisis. The lack of similar investments in R&D in countries such as Spain has made them more liable to the negative effects of the economic recession.
The Nordic countries strong bet to develop IS while preserving the welfare State explains why the Nordic model has become a reference for the EU. A good deal of these policies are also related to sustainability and gender equality, whereby the Nordic countries become also in this field a reference for the EU.