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Inaugural NZ internet research conference


Tuesday 17 November 2009
 
Inaugural NZ internet research conference explores digital future
 
What is New Zealand’s internet and digital future? How will New Zealanders of tomorrow access the internet, and what infrastructure do we need to be building now to satisfy their needs? These and other burning questions will be tackled at a novel “unConference” to be held at the University of Otago next week.
 
The two-day event, which starts on Monday, brings together more than 60 researchers and industry leaders from across the country to discuss and debate the future of the internet from a wide variety of perspectives.
 
unConference Chair Dr Erika Pearson of the  Internet Research Group of Otago (IRGO) says that she hopes the event will kickstart an exploration of not only what is possible, but also what is desirable, for New Zealand’s digital future.
 
“Participants will be able to engage in a wide-ranging discussion covering all aspects of the internet, from the technological infrastructure to its social impact,” Dr Pearson says.
 
Panel topics to be delved into include mobile internet, challenges to internet freedom, and the thorny issues surrounding copyright in the digital age. In keeping with the democratic spirit of the internet, the topics have been selected from submissions participants voted for online, she says.
 
Keynote addresses will be given by noted futurist, media commentator and author Professor Greg Hearn of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Creative Industries and Innovation, and Group Strategy Director at Telecom NZ, Mr Rod Snodgrass. 
 
The unConference schedule also includes “flashmeets” in which participants can take part in impromptu discussions on areas of mutual interest.

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A feed from the unConference will be streamed out via the IRGO web site and participants are being encouraged to record, “liveblog” or tweet during the event, says Dr Pearson.

IRGO is hosting the inaugural Internet Research unConference at the University of Otago’s Centre for Innovation on the 23 and 24 November, 2009.  The programme and further information about the conference can be found at: http://irgo.otago.ac.nz/unconference.html
 
The Internet Research Group of Otago is a multidisciplinary group of internet researchers, scholars, and practitioners whose work crosses the technological, social, economic, legal, and political implications of the internet across the region.
 
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