The International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society will feature plenary session addresses by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Garden Conversation Sessions

Main speakers will make formal 30 minute presentations in the plenary sessions. They will also participate in 60 minute Garden Conversation sessions at the same time as the parallel sessions. The setting is a circle of chairs outdoors. These sessions are entirely unstructured-a chance to meet the plenary speaker and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

The Speakers

Marcus Breen

Dr. Marcus Breen was born and educated in Australia. His work concentrates on the intersection of public policy and industry development in the global context. He has worked as a journalist, music and film critic, researcher, consultant and analyst with and for a number of organizations including Gartner Group, Austrade (Australian Trade Commission), Multimedia Victoria and the Victorian Department of State Development, the Center for International Research on Communication and Information Technologies (CIRCIT), The Mexican Telecommunications Commission (COFETEL), and a variety of other corporations and government agencies.

He has taught at the University of Melbourne, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently teaches in the Department of Comunication Studies at Northeastern University, Boston. His most recent book is Rock Dogs: Politics and the Music Industry in Australia.

Hugh Look

Hugh Look is a senior consultant and joined Rightscom in January 2004, after many years working as an independent consultant.

He has a particular interest in innovation strategies and process, organisational development, mobile information and mobile commerce strategies, virtual communities, and business publishing. His strategic consultancy with clients is often centred around identifying customer needs as the cornerstone of interactive businesses. He also works on organisational development aspects of interactive media strategies, especially in developing rapid and cost-effective innovation and NPD processes.

Hugh has carried out strategic reviews of projects and operations for content and media industry clients in a wide variety of settings, ranging from learned societies to government departments and large corporates. As both a consultant and a senior manager he has been involved in the management of major changes in organisations.

He is an experienced facilitator and has special expertise in scenario planning and digital strategies in the academic publishing sector. He teaches digital and online strategies on senior management courses organised by the Periodical Publishers Association and leads scenario planning seminars for the Association of Learned and Society Publishers and for corporate clients.

On first joining Rightscom, Hugh mainly worked on Publishing Watch, a major year-long study of competitiveness of the European publishing industries. The study was for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enterprise, and its objective was to identify the main issues affecting the publishing industries’ competitiveness and ability to modernise and innovate at a time of enormous change in the technical, commercial and social environments within which publishing operates. The project required a combination of economic, technical and business analysis to enable understanding and reporting on the European publishing industries during this extraordinary period of transition. Hugh was responsible for high-level analysis of the business issues facing each sector, for developing SWOT analyses and for directing the research needed to establish an accurate picture of industry competitiveness across all areas of publishing. He is currently leading the publishing sector analysis and report for a review of media convergence issues for the European Commission.

He has also either led or been closely involved in many other Rightscom projects, ranging from new business models for electronic publishing to strategic planning for a new digital music service.

Before becoming a consultant, Hugh held senior management positions at Longman Cartermill (Longman Group’s electronic publishing subsidiary) and Learned Information. At Longman Cartermill, he was successively Commercial Director and Director of Human Resources, where he initiated the company’s Investors In People programme and jointly led the company through a major business and cultural change process. He has also been a writer on business technology, edited specialist newsletters in interactive media and while at Learned Information was publisher of its specialist titles, including Information World Review.

Robin Mansell

Robin Mansell joined the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2001 as Professor of New Media and the Internet, Department of Media and Communications. She has been an academic Governor of the School since 2005 and, from September 2006, is Head of Department. She is President of IAMCR – the International Association for Media and Communications Research, 2004 to 2008, and Honorary Professor at the LINK Centre, Wits University, South Africa and at SPRU, University of Sussex.

From 1988 to 2000 she was at SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research), University of Sussex as Professor of Information and Communication Technology Policy (from 1994) where she served as Director of Research and Director of Postgraduate Studies. She also serves as a Trustee of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex. Robin received her PhD in Communication from Simon Fraser University, Canada (1984) and holds an MA Communication Simon Fraser University (1980); an MSc Social Psychology London School of Economics (1976), and a BA Hons Psychology University of Manitoba, Canada (1974). In 1998 she received her CEng equivalency certificate and is a Fellow of the IET, London.

She is internationally known for her work on the social, economic, and technical issues arising from new technologies, especially in the computer and telecommunication industries. She has examined the integration of new technologies into society, the interaction between engineering design and the structure of markets, and the sources of regulatory effectiveness and failure. Her most recent book is Trust and Crime in Information Societies (Mansell/Collins) Edward Elgar Publishing, 2005.

William H. Melody

Managing Director, Learning Initiatives on Reforms for Network Economies (LIRNE.NET),, and the World Dialogue on Regulation for Network Economies (WDR),

Visiting Professor, Technical University of Denmark, London School of Economics, University of Witwatersrand. Distinguished Visiting Professor 2004, University of Toronto. Emeritus Professor, Delft University of Technology, NL.

Former Chief Economist, US FCC, and adviser and expert witness for the US De-partment of Justice in US v. AT&T.; Former editor, Telecommunications Policy, and Policy Review editor, info. Editor, Telecom Reform: Principles, Policies and Regulatory Practices, used in education and training programs in more than 100 countries.

Founding Director (1989-94) of the Center for International Research on Communi-cation and Information Technologies (CIRCIT), Melbourne, Australia; and (1985-88) of the UK Programme on Information and Communication Technologies (PICT), ESRC, London. Director of multidisciplinary ICT programs at Simon Fraser University and University of Pennsylvania.

Awarded honorary degree of doctor technices, honoris causa, as recognition of "outstanding research contributions on the interaction between technology, economics and regulation in the area of communications, with emphasis on telecommunications" by the Technical University of Denmark, in 2001.

Jon Udell

Jon Udell is an author, information architect, software developer, and new media innovator.

His 1999 book, Practical Internet Groupware, helped lay the foundation for what we now call social software. Udell has been a software developer at Lotus, was BYTE Magazine's executive editor and Web maven, and has worked as an independent consultant. In 2002 he joined InfoWorld as lead analyst, author of the weekly Strategic Developer column, and blogger-in-chief. More recently he has launched a monthly series of screencasts about new software and a weekly series of audio interviews with innovators.

A hands-on thinker, Udell's analysis of industry trends continues to be informed by his own ongoing experiments with software, information architecture, and new media.