ELAG 2014: Preparing For The Future Workshop

The following proposal was accepted for the ELAG 2014 conference which was held at the University of Bath on 11-13 June 2014.

Workshop Title: Preparing For The Future

Facilitator: Brian Kelly, Innovation Advocate, Cetis, University of Bolton.

Audience: Librarians who have interests and responsibilities for identifying new technological developments and developing organisational plans for responding to such innovation.

Short description:

Libraries are making changes in shifting their focus from concentrating on the outside world to concentrating on what is special in the local community and exposing this to the outside world. But to do this there is a need to think locally and act globally.

But there is a need for decisions about local activities to be informed by activities happening on a national and global level. We need to remember that technology continues to develop at breakneck speed, offering new opportunities for the sector. At the same time, technological developments can be distracting and may result in wasted time and effort (remember the excitement provided by Second Life?!).

This workshop session will help participants identify potentially relevant technological developments by making use of ‘Delphi’ processes. The workshop will provide insight into processes for spotting ‘weak signals’ which may indicate early use of technologies which could be important in the future.

But having identified potentially important technological developments, organisations need to decide how to respond. What will be the impact on existing technologies? What are the strategic implications and what are the implications for staff within the organisation?

The interactive workshop session will provide opportunities to address the challenges in understanding the implications of technological developments and making appropriate organisational interventions.

Further information:

Brian Kelly is an experienced speaker and workshop facilitator. He worked for UKOLN for over 16 years as a national adviser on Web technologies where his work included support for the JISC Observatory, which provided systematic processes for identify technological developments. He is now the Innovation Advocate at Cetis, University of Bolton.

Similar workshops

This event was one of three in a series of workshops on identifying and planning for future technological developments which were held in June 2014. See also “Let’s Predict the Future!” (held at the SAOIM 2014 conference in Pretoria on 3 June) and “Preparing for Tomorrow’s World: Helping University Information Services Respond to Technological, Economic and Political Change” held at the Information Services 2014 conference at the University of Brighton on 24 June).

Timetable and Resources

The draft timetable is given below.


The first part of this workshop took place from 14.00-15.30 on Wednesday 11 June 2014.

Time Session  Slides
14.00 A: Introduction [Authorstream]
14.15 B: Predicting the Future: The Need, the Risks, the Approaches [Authorstream]
14.30 C: Let’s Predict the Future
C1: Gathering and Prioritising Your Predictions [Authorstream]
15.20 Review [Authorstream]
15.30 Workshop finishes (day 1)

Note that a list of the findings from the group exercise is available at http://bit.ly/elag14futures.

The second part of this workshop took place from 14.00-15.30 on Thursday 12 June 2014.

Time Session  Slides
14.00 Introduction
14.00 D: We’ve Predicted the Future! So What?! [Authorstream]
14.10 E: Scenario Planning [Authorstream]
14.20 F: Making the Case [Authorstream]
15.20 G: Conclusions and Reflections [Authorstream]
15.30 Workshop finishes