The OII Bellwether Lectures bring world-leading intellectuals to Oxford to lecture on the social implications of the Internet, and its role in shaping our economic, political, and social future.
Learning with the crowd? New structures, new practices for knowledge, learning, and education
This talk explores the emerging trends and forces that are radically reshaping learning and knowledge practices. Learning has left the classroom. It is being re-constituted across distance, discipline, workplace, and media as the social and technical interconnectivity of the Internet challenges existing structures for learning and education. The new ‘e-learning’ is more than a learning management system – it is a transformation in how, where, and with whom we learn that supports formal, informal and non-formal learning, life-long learning, just-in-time learning, and in ‘as much time as I have’ learning. But to do so, e-learning depends on the power of crowds and the support of communities engaged in the participatory practices of the Internet. We are networked in our learning, but also in our joint construction of knowledge and its legitimation, and in the social and technical practices that support knowledge co-construction, learning and education. This talk explores the emerging trends and forces that are radically reshaping learning and knowledge practices. The talk further explores the changing landscape of learning and knowledge practices with attention to motivations for contributing and valuing knowledge in crowds and communities, and the implications for future knowledge practices.
The Real-Time City? Big Data and Smart Urbanism
Rob Kitchin discusses how cities are being instrumented with digital devices and infrastructure that produce ‘big data’. ‘Smart cities’ is a term that has gained traction in academia, business and government to describe cities that, on the one hand, are increasingly composed of and monitored by pervasive and ubiquitous computing and, on the other, whose economy and governance is being driven by innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, enacted by smart people. This paper focuses on the former and, drawing on a number of examples, details how cities are being instrumented with digital devices and infrastructure that produce ‘big data’. Such data, smart city advocates argue enables real-time analysis of city life, new modes of urban governance, and provides the raw material for envisioning and enacting more efficient, sustainable, competitive, productive, open and transparent cities. The final section of the paper provides a critical reflection on the implications of big data and smart urbanism, examining five emerging concerns: the politics of big urban data, technocratic governance and city development, corporatisation of city governance and technological lock-ins, buggy, brittle and hackable cities, and the panoptic city.
New Media, New Civics?
Ethan Zuckerman explores contemporary anxieties about "a crisis in civics" and look at the idea that civics is changing along with digital media. The last decade has seen a shift in media from a world where a small, professional group produces news, opinion and entertainment to one where a much broader set of the population is involved making and sharing media. This shift has had important implications for the news business and for social change, with social media a part of popular protests around the world. The most important shift may be yet to come: a shift in civics, where participation in the public sphere is less about engagement with government institutions and more about individuals and groups using media, markets and code as well as laws to seek change. Ethan Zuckerman's talk will explore contemporary anxieties about ""a crisis in civics"" and look at the idea that civics is changing along with digital media to become more participatory and inclusive, but harder to understand and predict.