Over the past several decades, a number of scholars and commentators have come to the conclusion that the leading edge of the global economy has become driven by technologies based on knowledge production and dissemination, heralding the emergence of a knowledge-based economy and society. With the advent of information technology today there are major changes in how people look at knowledge, create it and apply it. This time is now widely recognized as the beginning of what has come to be called the Knowledge Age; an advanced form of economy in which knowledge and ideas are the main sources of economic value added.
Today the most important inputs to the core economic activities, of the most advanced economies, are widely distributed in the population, this is not a condition that we used to be in. This goes for both information and knowledge and it is a systemic transformation upon which many changes will take place in the coming decades as it lays the foundations for a true knowledge society. In the same way, that information became alive and something real to the mass of people with the advent of the personal computer, mobile phone, and the internet, knowledge is now also becoming something much more alive and real, the meaning of knowledge is changing in a fundamental way. Knowledge is no longer being thought of as ‘stuff’ that is developed and stored in the minds of experts, represented in books, and classified into disciplines, it is starting to flow in all directions. Increasingly the nature of knowledge will change as it becomes dynamic, present and real in everything that people do, it is increasingly part of our work, part of the media we consume, the websites we visit, the stuff that businesses are calling out for and that people see as critical to the development of their economies, this is the emergence of a knowledge society.