Jacques F. Vallee
professional works
Professional Works
personal research
Personal Research



[Other Publications]

The Heart of the Internet
Au Coeur d'Internet
Electronic Meetings
Computer Message Systems
The Network Revolution
British edition of The Network Revolution
German edition of The Network Revolution
Swedish edition of the Network Revolution
Les Enjeux du Millenaire
The Four Elements of Financial Alchemy
Fran├žais d'Ailleurs Essai

Electronic Meetings

Technical Alternatives and Social Choices

Co-authors: Robert Johansen, Kathi Spangler
of the Institute for the Future, Menlo Park, California

Publisher: Addison-Wesley, 1979 (Series on Decision Support) Hardcover, 244 pp. Illustrated, indexed


Electronic Meetings is more about meetings than electronics. It is about meetings that happen to be held over such media as audio, video, or computer-based teleconferencing. It is about alternatives to face-to-face meetings.

To explore the dynamics of use in detail, Electronic Meetings takes readers on an imaginary leap to a future world where various forms of teleconferencing are available for an international meeting. The meeting is triggered by an impending crisis - a drought in the fictitious African country of Camelia. It is a bilingual communication situation involving a mix of data interpretation, information exchange, negotiation and group decision-making. Participants represent local, regional and international perspectives. The setting is tense and demanding; the use of electronic media could either ease the tension or lead to total breakdown in communication.

A set of eight story-like scenarios illustrates these possibilities, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of audio, video, and computer-based teleconferencing, as well as face-to-face meetings. Each scenario probes the ways in which media can be used both very effectively and very ineffectively. Together, the scenarios allow would-be users of teleconferencing to draw informed speculations about future uses and practical conclusions for present applications.