RLUK Digital Shift Forum #RLUKDSF upcoming events

Dear colleagues,
2022 sees the continuation of the RLUK Digital Shift Forum, with an exciting programme of speakers from across the international information, heritage, and research communities.

Our three seminars across January and February include speakers from Athenaeum21, the University of Edinburgh, and Microsoft, each exploring different elements of the digital shift in research collections, services, and technologies.

Seminars are free to attend and are open to all. Visit the RLUK website<> to see our full programme, for further details of each event, and to register to attend.

Every seminar is recorded and is made available afterwards. Hear from our previous speakers at RLUK DSF on demand<>.

19 January 2022, 14.00-15.00 (GMT)
Technology is Not the Answer: Why “Digital” is Not the Most Important Aspect of Your Digital Strategy
Megan Hurst and Christine Madsen, Co-founders, Athenaeum21 Consulting (A21)

We define ‘digital strategy’ as ‘a plan of action for the adoption of institutional processes and practices to support and/or transform the organisation and culture to effectively and competitively function in an increasingly digital world’. In 1975, a Kodak employee built the first digital camera. In 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy, having had its photographic film business disrupted by competitors invested heavily in promoting the ‘new’ technology of digital photography. Why do large organisations (including academic institutions) fail to evolve with the times? And what is your strategy for supporting evolution and innovation in your organisation? How do you adapt to and benefit from change and new ideas?

Athenaeum21 was commissioned to conduct an environmental scan<> of how and why digital strategies in a range of organisations succeed, and also why they ‘fail’. The answers are complex, but there are important trends worth understanding. Join us to learn how and why people, culture, leadership, and organisational alignment are arguably more important for digital transformation than data and technology.

Register for this event: here<>

2 February 2022, 14.00-15.00 (GMT)
Design From/With/By Data
Professor Chris Speed FRSE, Chair of Design Informatics, University of Edinburgh

The design community have used qualitative and quantitative data to inform the development of products, services and systems for many years. From market analytics to observational analysis, and questionnaires to design probes, designers understand implicitly the need to watch, listen and learn from the data that is gathered by prototypes before, during and after the design process. However, whilst the methods for gathering data have grown to reflect research through design approaches, there has been little classification of the kinds of data that we are encountering in an age of large digital data sets, nor to frame how we design alongside them.

The talk will reflect upon a framework for designers that was introduced in 2016 that reflected on methods of working with data, in order to anticipate its ability to transform design processes as its level of performativity increases. The framework aims to offer a means of organising both existing methods but also of anticipating emerging methods that recognise the increasing performative qualities of data.

The provocation of the talk is that by acknowledging the fast-moving nature of data-driven technologies, there are many challenging aspects of being a contemporary design researcher within the Digital Shift agenda, and we need new literacies (including the ablative framework) in order that we retain a digital literacy and social values.

Register for this event: here<>

16 February 2022, 14.00-15.00 (GMT)

Improving discoverability of knowledge leveraging modern technology

Catherine Devine, Business Strategy Leader – Libraries and Museums, Microsoft

In this session, we’ll explore the possibilities of improving discoverability of collections and information through the use of modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence. Digitizing collections and making them accessible is only scratching the surface of what is possible to understand and access about the world’s knowledge. We’ll paint a vision for the future and the possibilities for humanity that come from increased understanding and access to knowledge, and then drill down to reality and the present day to talk about the improvements to discoverability that can be realized now, building on existing systems and processes.

Register for this event: here<>

With very best wishes,


Dr Matthew Greenhall
Deputy Executive Director
Research Libraries UK

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