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Department of Informatics - Communication Systems Group

Socio-economic Services for European Research Projects (SESERV)

The SESERV Coordination Action fills the gap between socio-economic priorities and the Future Internet research community by offering selected socio-economic services to FP7 projects in Challenge 1. SESERV will provide access to socio-economic experts investigating the relationship between Future Internet technology, society, and the economy through white papers, workshops, and research consultancy.

General Information

Reference: FP7-CSA-2010-258138
Source of funding: European Commission
Project Duration: September 1, 2010 - August 30, 2012
Official Project Home Page:

Project Overview

There is no doubt that ICT can provide solutions to the sustainability challenge by measuring impacts and benefits of economic activity (integrated environmental monitoring and modeling), managing consequences by lowering environmental impact of existing economic processes (such as food, energy, buildings, travel, and ICT) and enabling novel low-impact economic activities (e.g., virtual industries or digital assets). ICT can also help underpin novel approaches that encourage socio-economic values supporting ‘zero growth’ models of well being. Western capitalism depends on the addition of (financial) value (i.e. growth), but other values will increasingly need to be considered in the future (such as safety, privacy, health, happiness, personal development, individual control over personal and environmental circumstances). ICT will surely play a role in enhancing these values, although how these models are related to free-market capitalism will largely be up to governments and regulators.

Investigating the impact of current research, SESERV sees that faster networks have made it easier to connect businesses throughout the world and better automation has lowered management costs and operator skills. It has never been easier for globalized service industries to export jobs to cheaper locations in developing countries whilst Europe continues to focus on a knowledge-based economy offering high-value services and employment. The creation of European jobs that are high-value in relation to other developing economies, such as India and China, may not be sustainable as levels of wealth and expectations increase. Affluence is being redistributed around the world and maintaining the skills’ differential is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain through better education. Cost of education is increasing, working life is reduced (and tax incomes), and there is a basic fact that not every citizen is capable of delivering high-value services, although every citizen must be expected to contribute through economic participation or public service to the society they live in. The environment cannot sustain increasing the affluence of large parts of the population, so Europe will need to consider how ICT technologies can enforce regulation whether for globalization versus co-operation versus protectionism across different economic sectors.



Project Partners

UZH Personnel


Inquiries may be directed to the local Swiss project management:

Prof. Dr. Burkhard Stiller
University of Zürich, IFI
Binzmühlestrasse 14
CH-8050 Zürich
Phone: +41 44 635 67 10
Fax: +41 44 635 68 09

Weiterführende Informationen


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