Updated: 06 Jan 2012

UK Talks by International Internet Guru to Boost Innovation

10th September 2007

International internet guru Howard Rheingold will be speaking in the UK this week with De Montfort University's Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT).

In his role as Visiting Professor to the University's pioneering IOCT, Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs and expert on virtual communities, will talk about mass collaboration that can boost innovation, at NESTA London tomorrow (Tuesday), and at the IOCT in Leicester on Wednesday (12 September).

Tomorrow's joint NESTA IOCT talk will also include contributions from Mark Earls, renowned author of Herd: How to change mass behaviour by harnessing our true nature, as well as NESTA Chief Executive Jonathan Kestenbaum.

Cyberspace researcher at the IOCT and De Montfort University's Professor of New Media, Sue Thomas, who has organised the talks, said: "Howard Rheingold is a world expert on social networking and the rare opportunity to hear him in London will have a lasting impact on UK innovation."

Roland Harwood, Head of NESTA's Connect programme, who will also contribute to the talk, said: "Social networking may be the buzz word of the moment but that doesn't mean its potential impact should be underestimated. It promises to allow the kind of mass collaboration that could result in groundbreaking innovation in the UK and beyond. Figures like Howard Rheingold and Mark Earls are pivotal in increasing our understanding of how it works and how to get the most out of it."
"Tools for collaboration" is the title of the talk Professor Rheingold will take part at the IOCT in Leicester the following day (Wednesday 12 September). Presented jointly with Creativity East Midlands (CREEM), the talk will also include professor Andrew Hugill, composer, writer, and Director of the IOCT.

Admission to that event at the IOCT Lab, Gateway Street, from 5.30-6.30pm, is free of charge. See the IOCT website www.ioct.dmu.ac.uk for directions and more info.

It will be the first in a weekly series of informal discussions at the IOCT focussing on topics within the areas of creativity, innovation, and transdisciplinary work. For more information see www.creativityconversation.co.uk .

The IOCT opened at DMU a year ago and is pioneering research that defies the traditional boundaries of computer science, the digital arts and humanities.

The Institute's work benefits the creative industries - one of the most important sectors in the UK and the East Midlands' economy - and it has attracted the support of: Microsoft; the Leicester-based MD of ideas company Sleepy Dog, Toby Moores; renowned computer scientist Steve Grand OBE, of Cyberlife Research Ltd; and the East Midlands Development Agency (emda), as well as award-winning authors and artists.

It is championed by Professor Rheingold for its innovative cross-disciplinary approach; sharing expertise and ideas to extend creative technology research beyond the limitations of usually very separate fields.

IOCT research projects include: an internet orchestra; the world's first cylindrical projection hologram; and an animatron for exploring the role of artificial intelligence in modelling human emotions and expressions and interaction with people.

For further information or to be kept informed about IOCT activities, please contact:
The Director, Institute of Creative Technologies,
De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH
Tel: (+44) 0116 250 6146
Email: eedmonds [at] dmu.ac.uk

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