Manuel Castells, prominent member of Re Imagine Europa advisory board, Professor of Sociology at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) and Wallis Annenberg Chair Professor of Communication Technology and Society at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, has been appointed minister of the University of the new Spanish government.
Castells predicted many years in advance that the disruptive innovations that were developed in digital communication technologies would not only change the way we communicate and access information and culture, but also create a new production and economic model. His trilogy “The information age: economy, society and culture” (1996-2003) rapidly became an international benchmark for the new information society.
In addition to his tireless research work (he occupies the sixth position in the list of most cited researchers between 2000 and 2017 in the Social Science Citation Index), he served as advisor to many international organizations (from Unesco to the European Commission) and various governments. His interest as a sociologist has always been global and his recent works pertain the global loss of legitimacy of institutions.
Expelled from Spain by Francisco Franco in 1962, he graduated in Sociology at the University of Paris, where he had a mentor in Alain Touraine, and at the age of 24 he became the youngest professor of that university. He then moved to the University of California at Berkeley, where he was Professor of Sociology and Urban Planning and in which he developed the central and most important part of his career.
Without leaving this institution, of which he continues to be Professor Emeritus, Castells returned to Spain to direct the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute of the Open University of Catalonia. In 2003, he joined the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication, as a professor of communication and the first Wallis Annenberg-endowed Chair of Communication and Technology.
Man of deep progressive convinctions, in recent years he has expressed clearly criticism of the way in which the economic crisis has been managed in Spain and in Europe and addressed the role that new religious, cultural and national identities play in the global world. Today he answers the call to be part of the Spanish Government in these times of extreme polarization.
Congratulations to him on his appointment and wishes of best success from the Management Team and Advisory Board of Re Imagine Europa!