The rapid growth of the Internet as a global institution over the past decade provides a rare opportunity to understand the principles and process of social development. The Society is undertaking an in-depth examination of the historical precedents, origins and development of the Internet as a case study applying the principles of development theory to the emergence of this new social institution. The study involves drawing parallels with the process and impact of earlier social innovations such as the language, money, printing press and the telegraph.

For an overview of MSS projects in this field, please see Internet Projects