-------Alfredo Ronchi---------

Information from the proposer:

Alfredo M. Ronchi
Politecnico di Milano - EC MEDICI Framework Secretariat

MEDICI Framework |

Alfredo M. Ronchi is a professor of Computer Aided Design at Politecnico di Milano and Multimedia Publishing both at Politecnico and DSI (Information Science Dept.) at State-owned University in Milan. Head of HyperMediaGroup Laboratory.

Born in Milan on 31 January 1956 he attained his Engineering Degree in 1981 and was nominated researcher in 1984.

Alfredo M. Ronchi has developed his interests in three main converging sectors: Computer Graphics, IVR, Hypermedia and Networking. Those interests have led to the development of tight contacts and collaborations with Universities and Research Institutes both Italian and international, which allowed him to further increase his research activity in Europe and elsewhere.

He is involved in ICT application both in the cultural heritage and education fields. Different projects and studies were carried out in Educational Multimedia application in the field of tele-didactics, tele-training and lifelong learning.

Alfredo Ronchi contributed as active member of “MultiMedia Access to Cultural Heritage Memorandum of Understanding”, participating both in the Working Group Standards and Protocols for Interoperability and Intellectual Property Right Protection.

In the last decade he contributed as designer or coordinator to some projects in the field of Cultural Heritage. Alfredo Ronchi is actually Secretary of the European Commission DG X / XIII MEDICI Cooperation Framework.

He is chairman of Eurographics Sessions, ACM MM and DEXA workshops, WWW Conferences “Culture Track”. CNR expert – Grande Albo dei Referee, European Commission expert both in the EU Telematics Applications Programme and IST programme. Alfredo M. Ronchi is a consultant of the Council of Europe, member of ACM, Eurographics, IES and UNESCO OCCAM Steering Committee.


Pierpaolo Saporito, Dr
UNESCO Programma Mediterraneo - OCCAM

The future of On-Line Culture

In the past decade advocacy efforts, particularly in Canada, Europe, and the US, pointed to the need for the cultural sector to participate in the planning and development of national and international telecommunications systems. A case, now reflected in many national telecommunications policies, was made for the importance of providing all people with electronic access to their nation’s cultural heritage. White papers and Memorandums of Understanding were launched that created a strategic focus for bringing culture into the digital environment. Thousands of web sites were formed around institutional collections. Efforts were initiated to demystify intellectual property rights and open the way for global access to art and culture. Meta data standards emerged as a means of providing integrated access across collections. Demonstration projects around community culture nets provided a better understanding of the potential of the World Wide Web to simplify access to who we are and what we do. New business models emerged for providing educational access to images of art and culture. Alliances were formed to build virtual digital libraries, online exhibitions, and electronic calendars of cultural events. Innovative approaches such as Net Day in the US helped to wire schools across nations. New organizations were formed that could provide an ongoing voice for policies and methodologies to harness technology for better access to art and culture.

In the coming decade, where are we headed in respect to online culture? What are the issues, policies, and information requirements for the 21st century?

While the information revolution began as a dominant force in the world’s industrialized nations, it has now grown to global proportions. The growth and global impact of the information age was recently pronounced in the Okinawa Charter on the Global Information Society, on the occasion of the recent G 8 meeting in Okinawa, Japan, July, 2000:

"Information and Communication’s Technology (ICT) is one of the most potent forces in shaping the twenty-first century. Its revolutionary impact affects the way people live, learn, and work and the way government interacts with civil society. It is fast becoming a vital engine of growth for the world economy. The essence of the IT-driven economic and social transformation is its ability to empower and give voice to civil society and community groups as well as to help societies and individuals to use knowledge and ideas. In promoting global participation, countries that succeed in harnessing its potential can look forward to leapfrogging conventional obstacles of infrastructure development, to meeting more effectively their vital development goals, such as poverty reduction, health, sanitation, education, and to benefiting from the rapid growth of global e-commerce."

As an outcome of the meeting, the G 8 leaders established a Digital Opportunity Task (DOT) Force to search for ways to fuse the gaping information technology (IT) split between industrial and developing countries.

"Everyone, everywhere, should be enabled to participate in and no one should be excluded from the benefits of the global information society," the G8 said in an IT charter.

It is no wonder that an organization such as the World Bank – devoted to helping the poorest nations improve their economic status has launched an ambitious Internet initiative that provides a common space for stakeholders to work collaboratively in helping to reduce poverty (

The international World Wide Web Conference (WWW10) May 1-5 to be held in Hong Kong provides an opportunity to look towards the latest developments in Web technology and discuss the issues and challenges facing the Web community as it moves into the 21st century. The conference includes a Culture Track session that can identify new models and visions for how the art and cultural community can optimize the Web for the future.

The questions about the future of online culture that will frame the session are as follows


For information about this session, please see

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