ICASIT, GWU Partner on Technology Forecast

Posted: December 12, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Elena Barbre

How long until half the U.S. population will be voting electronically? Will distance learning ever be the predominate form of higher education? The School of Public Policy’s International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology (ICASIT) and George Washington University’s School of Business have created a partnership to make answers to these kinds of questions possible through an enhanced version of George Washington’s widely known technology forecast.

The technology forecast, developed by George Washington management professor William Halal, works like a virtual think tank by bringing experts together online to forecast emerging technology breakthroughs and strategically plan for their impact. As part of the collaboration, ICASIT is contributing technical expertise and knowledge management resources for a new electronic commerce module that will pool the knowledge of these experts to provide forecasts of strategic issues affecting e-commerce. This includes broadband and wireless innovations; electronic financial services, retail sales, and government services; distance learning; electronic publishing; telemedicine; and the digital divide.

“It is so rare for universities to partner like this,” says Stephen Ruth, director of ICASIT. “You have to share processes and share money–you’re sharing what really matters. George Washington is making us an equal partner in this effort because we can add value through our research agenda and technology emphasis.” The emerging technology and e-commerce modules are part of the larger goal of forming a virtual think tank for tracking the knowledge revolution, according to Halal. Modules on globalization and organizational transformation also are in the works.

ICASIT manager David Melia and staff member Jiwan Giri are assisting in the documentation of the web site. The current version, called the GW Forecast, will be renamed TechCast to reflect the joint effort.

Write to at