Knowledge Society


With the development and dissemination of ICTs , access to information has increased and the information age has been left behind to focus on how human beings interpret the data they obtain, thus, in the knowledge society , the purpose it is “learning to learn” considering the plurality, heterogeneity and cultural diversity of societies.

What is the knowledge society?

The knowledge society is a social ideal where knowledge is accessible to all communities through the use of information and communication technologies, its objective is to achieve sustainable social development through its implementation in all human activities.  

  • Definition of knowledge society
  •  Characteristics
  • Origin of the knowledge society
  • Elements
  • Interpretations
  • Challenges
  • Learning in the knowledge society
  • How is it different from the information society?
  • Advantage
  • Review
  • Importance of the knowledge society
  • Examples

Definition of knowledge society

It is that society where the interaction between people is based on the access and processing of information in order to produce knowledge, especially by making use of information and communication technologies (ICT).


The UNESCO world report (2005), entitled ‘Towards knowledge societies’ , affirms that ICTs are the creators of the conditions for the emergence of knowledge societies, due to allowing the possibility of achieving development for all and in especially for underdeveloped countries .

Access to education, information and freedom of expression are the pillars of the knowledge society , which is an important concept not only for economic growth , but also for the development of all sectors of society focusing on the human being.

Furthermore, the knowledge society should be understood as a society that seeks to share knowledge taking into account the plurality, heterogeneity and cultural diversity of societies (World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva, 2003 – Tunis, 2005).


  • Promotes lifelong learning throughout life.
  • It encourages research aimed at innovation in all areas of human activity.
  • Speed ​​in the production of knowledge.
  • Innovation is the dominant activity.
  • Revolution of the instruments of knowledge.
  • Knowledge is a fundamental element in human life because all human activities require cognitive skills.
  • Knowledge communication fluidity.
  • Knowledge is exchanged through communication networks.
  • Globalization of economic activities, increased consumption and mass production of consumer goods.
  • Substitution of production systems by others of an electronic and automatic nature, which leads to the social modification of the technique in productive production, flexibility of work and labor instability.
  • Globalization of the mass media.
  • Demand for higher quality and profitability of products and results at the business, political, educational and social level.

Origin of the knowledge society

The concept emerged at the end of the 1960s, its predecessor was the concept of the learning society that appears in the work of Torsten Husén , The Learning Society (1974) and the text of the same name by Robert Hutchins (1968). Both authors argued that learning cannot be limited to the stages of human formation (initial, school, university) or to institutions.

Thus, Peter Drucker (1969) highlights that the most important thing in the emergence of the knowledge society is ‘learning to learn’; Almost simultaneously, it was stated in the Faure Report (1972), it was stated that “education ceased to be the privilege of an elite and was limited to one age; to be coextensive both with the entire community and with the entire existence of the individual ” (UNESCO, 2005, p. 65).

In addition, the development of ICTs has increased the flow of information that is processed by those people who have access to the network and who also have knowledge and tools that allow them to search for that information and process it in order to learn. 


  • Information.
  • Information and communication technologies.
  • Culture


The knowledge society can be interpreted according to its application in different human activities, from education, tourism, administration, politics, industry, etc.

Depending on the human activity, challenges will be presented, advantages and disadvantages will be found in its application.


  • Ensure that all communities have easy access to knowledge.
  • Reach out for people to “learn to learn.”
  • Improve the quality of products and services.
  • Promote the sustainable development of all societies.
  • Incorporate ICTs in all educational processes.
  • Achieve cultural integration between societies.

Learning in the knowledge society

Learning must be based on innovation, academic updating and ensuring that people “learn to learn”.

In educational institutions, curricula must be more flexible, integrate technologies into classrooms, refine the link between theory and practice, build a minimum of knowledge together with students, and dedicate more time to developing skills.

How is it different from the information society?

Information is an instrument of knowledge, it is composed of facts and events , which are mainly oriented to commercial interests; while knowledge can be accessible to anyone and is the interpretation of those facts and events considering them within a context with a specific objective.

Likewise, the information society seeks only to create and disseminate data; while the knowledge society transforms information into resources that society can use for its progress.


The main advantages of the knowledge society are:

  • Continuous interaction that favors intellectual activity.
  • Development of the initiative.
  • Development of research skills and information selection.
  • Strengthening of skills of expression and creativity .
  • Easy access to different sources of information.
  • Experimentation with simulations of reality.
  • Contribution to the teaching techniques of special education.
  • Increase in educational resources for teaching, orientation and rehabilitation.
  • Increase interest in research.
  • Higher quality and variety of products.
  • More fluid international trade.
  • Facilitation of the export and import of products.
  • Exercise the right to vote through online platforms.
  • Access to government information to learn about political actions.


The concept of the knowledge society does not refer to a real society, it is an ideal that emerged after the information age, which could be achieved by making use of ICTs and the humanization of current societies.

In addition, the instruction of the companies should focus on the techniques and criteria to contemplate the information with objectivity and a critical spirit.

Importance of the knowledge society

The knowledge society enables the improvement of the means of subsistence and social and economic development of societies.

From international organizations such as UNESCO , efforts are made to lay its foundations and promote the creation of knowledge societies, understanding that only universal access to information will substantially change the world and will be reflected in the construction of peace , sustainable economic development and cultural exchange.


  • Interactive boards.
  • Digital encyclopedias.
  • Social media.
  • Advanced educational systems such as those of Finland, Norway and Israel .

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