IT Futures

University of Edinburgh

Conference 2013

The University’s IT Futures conference returns this year with the theme of Disruption.

It will take place on Thursday, 12th December 2013 in G07, 0900-1630, Informatics Forum.

Programme overview

New technologies disrupt our ways of working, they disrupt our lifestyles and our settled habits. Sometimes this is good, sometimes not. Sometimes tiny factors turn out to be highly disruptive, and sometimes hugely hyped innovations fizzle out and are quickly forgotten. What’s now on the horizon for universities, our staff and our students? Do we want it? Can we avoid it?

An opening by the Principal, followed by keynote talks from Aleks Krotoski (BBC, Guardian) and Cory Doctorow (SF author and technology guru), provide the centrepieces of an exciting and stimulating programme. Booking closed.

Please note that we expect this conference to be heavily subscribed, so please book early and if you are for any reason unable to attend then do cancel your booking so that others may have a chance.

The conference will not be streamed live, but some sessions may be recorded and made available after the conference.

Tweet the conference using hashtag: #itfutures

Please note: The programme is currently a work in progress. Please do not plan your timed attendance around this version of the programme. The committee reserve the right to alter the timings and speaker slots as planning continues apace. For instance a morning speaker could be changed to a pre lunch speaker; or afternoon speaker to morning. We will confirm the programme as soon as possible.


09.00- 09.30  Registration, with coffee
 09:30 – 10.00  The conference will be opened by the Principal who will give his perspective on disruptive technology.
 10:00 – 11.00  Opening Keynote: Aleks Krotoski
Title: “Technofundamentalism: the next digital literacy”
Alex is a Visiting Fellow, Media & Communications Dept at LSE; Research Associate at the OII; journalist at The Guardian and BBC.
Response by Chris Speed, School of Design, Edinburgh College of Art, University of EdinburghChaired by Jeff Haywood, Vice Principal of Knowledge Management, University of Edinburgh
 11.15-11.45  Coffee Break
 11.45-12.15 Tim Fawns
Title: “Digital disruption and blended memory: selectivity, creativity, engagement and reflection”
Tim is a PhD Candidate, School of Education, University of Edinburgh
Chaired by Jessie Paterson, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh
12.15-12.45 James Fleck
Title: “Innovation and IT Futures: Impact and disruption”
James is currently Editor-in-Chief of the journal Technology Analysis and Strategic Management.
Chaired by Jessie Paterson, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh
12.45-13.45 Lunch Break (lunch provided)
13.45-15.00 Closing Keynote: Cory Doctorow
Title: “You can’t solve problems by breaking the net”.
Cory ( is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing ( and the author of the bestselling Tor Teen/HarperCollins UK novel LITTLE BROTHER. His latest young adult novel is HOMELAND, his latest novel for adults is RAPTURE OF THE NERDS.
15.00-16.00 Panel discussion: Mel Woods, University of Dundee; Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh; Richard Kenway, University of Edinburgh; Jeff Haywood, University of Edinburgh; Cory Doctorow; Sci Fi Author.

Chaired by Ashley Lloyd, Business School, University of Edinburgh

 16.00-16.30  The conference will be closed by Jeff Haywood.
« of 2 »