Dr Vivienne Conway, WebKeyIT
9:00am Monday 9 December 2019
Title: He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother: Where Do Personal and Organisational Ethics Fit in the IT Industry?
Abstract: The IT industry is rather unique in that there is not a required minimum of education or expertise for an individual to claim that they are an IT expert. If you were an accountant or lawyer, membership in good standing in a professional association would be required. We see IT practitioners who were talented in IT in high school, started dabbling making websites, playing with systems, games, etc., and then either got a job or set themselves up as a web developer and went on from there to forge a career in the industry. Others went to university, received their qualification, but then with the pressures of work and other commitments, didn’t pursue any further IT education or join an organisation which would require on-going professional development. Still others have joined organisations such as the Australian Computer Society or Australian Web Industry Association, or their organisation is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and regularly contribute and pursue professional development opportunities. However, all three of these avenues, are left entirely to the individual.
When it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Mission statements, this has been left for the management of organisations to decide, again being completely optional. Although increasingly organisations are releasing statements of their CSR to inform their stakeholders of their commitment, these statements seldom include anything about inclusivity, rights of the individual customer etc.
I’d like to propose that it is essential that the organisation and IT professional of the future look at the issues of ethics in the IT industry to see how they can challenge themselves to be more inclusive and to look to the needs of others.
Bio: Dr Vivienne Conway is the Director of Web Key IT Pty Ltd., which she founded in 2011. She is an internationally-recognised digital accessibility professional, researcher and public speaker, always advocating for the inclusion of people with disabilities and seniors in our increasingly digital world.
Web Key IT has a vision to enable full digital access for persons with disabilities and senior citizens. Web Key IT assists organisations with web-based programs and information to meet the needs of people with disabilities as well as to understand their legal requirements for website accessibility and develop the tools needed to meet the internationally recognised website standards. Vivienne is also interested in the nexus between accessibility and security – the need to protect the privacy of individuals while making digital content as accessible as possible.
As well as being involved in research and conference presentations, Vivienne leads her team of accessibility professionals to provide consulting, audit and accreditation, policy development and training in all aspects of digital accessibility. She is an ardent advocate for the effective recognition of the needs of people with disabilities and their inclusion in our digital society.
Vivienne completed her PhD in IT (website accessibility) at Edith Cowan University. She is a Fellow and a Certified Professional (Snr) member of the Australian Computer Society. She is active in W3C and the working groups, where Web Key IT is a member and is one of the two Australian W3C Evangelists, tasked with promoting W3C involvement in Australia.
Prof Margunn Aanestad, Adger University, Norway
3:30pm Tuesday 10 December 2019
Title: Digitalization, the Sustainable Development Goals and IS research
Abstract: The talk will address how IS researchers may contribute to the necessary transition towards more sustainable ways of organizing our lives and societies. Digitalization holds great promise for supporting many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, however, digitalization also runs the risk of exacerbating social inequalities and unsustainable impact on the environment. The talk will discuss some perspectives that may help us as a community develop a response to the challenges that lie ahead.
Bio: Margunn Aanestad is Professor of Information Systems at the University of Agder, Norway, and has earlier worked in the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway, from which she also acquired her PhD in 2002. Her research takes a cross-disciplinary view on sociotechnical phenomena, and while drawing on organizational studies, computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW) and socio-technical systems (STS), she has published primarily in IS outlets, including EJIS, ISJ, ISR, JAIS, JIT, JSIS and MISQ, and she is a member of several IS journals’ editorial boards. Her research has addressed the implementation of digital services that transform organizational and inter-organizational collaboration, particularly in the healthcare sector. Theoretically, she has contributed to the research stream on information infrastructures within the IS field. Her current research investigates what characterizes digital platform ecologies in public sector domains, the effects of digitalization on the workforce’s competency requirements, and how policy can stimulate industry’s utilization of digital technologies to transform into more sustainable business models and operations.
Prof Simon Cook, Centre for Digital Agriculture, Curtin University
9:00am Wednesday 11 December 2019
Title: The Promises and Pitfalls of Global Digital Food Systems
Abstract: The world is going digital; agriculture is following suit. It started some way behind but is catching up fast, and AgTech developers are witnessing major new investor interest. Like all growth spurts, this is an exciting but uncertain process that is prone to hype.
The difference between hype and sustained growth is in the narrative – a realistic narrative, based on plausible growth expectations and an understanding of change, will sustain the inevitable obstacles that lie ahead. In this paper we aim to reduce the risk of growth by explaining the fundamental role for digital technology to support sustainable global food chains through to 2050 and beyond. Using a food chain concept, we identify how change is likely to occur and some of the pitfalls that await us.
Bio: Prof Simon Cook is the Director of the Centre for Digital Agriculture, Curtin University. He holds a joint State Premier’s Fellowship in Agriculture and Food appointment across both Curtin and Murdoch Universities, based in Western Australia.Prof Cook is an expert in applying data science and technologies to agricultural systems and natural resource management. An internationally accomplished scientist, Prof Cook is the newly appointed, inaugural Premier’s Fellow in Agriculture and Food at Curtin University. Prof Cook also leads the Food Agility CRC research program into Sustainable Food Systems.
Prof Cook has over 25 years’ experience of research management in agriculture, including many years with CSIRO and within the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research Centres. He has a wealth of knowledge in applying information technologies to the management of natural resources. As the leader of the CSIRO precision agricultural research group, he identified the opportunities and obstacles of applying information technologies to change in Australian agriculture. This group pioneered precision agriculture within Australian grains, wine and sugar industries and, with partners, produced the first yield maps for these crops.
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