Turin 2010

COMMUNIA 2010 conference

It is a great honour to have the opportunity to attend the “COMMUNIA 2010 University and Cyberspace” conference in Turin.

Together with two fellows, I have gained the opportunity to travel to Turin for the “COMMUNIA 2010 University and Cyberspace” conference and learn more about reshaping knowledge institutions for the networked age. This will be an inspiration event as we just launched an internal web platform at Budapest University of Technology and Economics to support knowledge transfer at the department.

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The first day of the conference will cover the relevant history and traditions of universities, move through the current state of play, and focus on the emerging landscape of universities, articulating both their changing role in society, the significant challenges these institutions are facing for the future and, more specifically, their role vis a vis the increasing commons of knowledge facilitated by the Internet. This day will provide intellectual scaffolding for the primary ideas and tracks we seek to explore. The opening keynote, focused on “Universities as Knowledge Institutions”, will lay the foundation for integrative plenaries on university responsibilities on day 2. The three track sessions, “Digital Natives”, “Information Infrastructure”, and “Physical/Spatial Infrastructure”, will explore the pressing questions universities face in these areas, and provide the basis for working groups on subsequent days.

The second day will attempt cross-sectional reorientation, by examining universities’ emerging responsibilities as ‘horizontal’ themes, especially as they intersect with future challenges described in the first day’s ‘vertical’ tracks.  The day will begin with interactive breakout sessions exploring each of the priority areas (or verticals) covered the previous day. The balance of the day would concentrate on “the Civic Role of Universities” (Universities as Civic Actors or Institutions), “Educating Students” (Universities as Platforms for Learning), and Research (Universities as Knowledge Creators). These plenary sessions will serve to contextualize the tracks within broader institutional roles, offering provocations and driving us toward innovative and holistic responses.

The third day will consciously combine the three tracks and the cross-sectional issues with an orientation towards solutions and next steps. The day begins with a high level keynote intended to inform, provoke and energize the participants for the integration of the substance and the generation of actionable insights. This will be accomplished in the final working session of the tracks and in the final roundtable session envisioning potential futures. It may result in the creation of a declaration or some other tangible output.