In the 1930s of the last century, Danish physicist Niels Bohr, who first disclosed the mysteries of the atoms, pontificated that:
“the verified impossibility of a physical or chemical explanation of the functions typical of life would be analogous to the failure of the mechanical analysis for the understanding of the stability of the atoms”.
In the beginning of this century, the Knoma, an engineering school department dedicated to knowledge engineering, is convinced that the models of complex systems that often come up in arts, sciences, and in the whole social conglomerate, apart from those classical “mechanical” approaches, deserve an ‘organic’-natured look.
The Information and Communications Technologies have affected people’s way of life and created new habits and amenities that have been solving many of their everyday problems; however, they have brought together new problems such as those related to people’s safety, business, privacy, intellectual property, etc. The Society and Technology Study Center (or, CEST – Centro de Estudos Sociedade e Tecnologia, in Portuguese) was created at Universidade de São Paulo in December, 2013, from grants by Microsoft Corporation. CEST’s purpose is to research and discuss these complex issues and provide papers and public workshops, involving academics, technologists, public officials, and the society at large so as to address these and other major issues and generate proposals and helpful answers. CEST’s goal is to pave the way for solutions expressed in public policies and technological applications. Some concepts transversal to all these themes such as online education, creative currencies of exchange, Internet of Things (IoT) etc., are all themes of wide range and complexity for special attention especially since they capture the society’s interest at this time.