SAOIM 2014: Let’s Predict the Future! Workshop

Title: Let’s Predict the Future!

Facilitator: Brian Kelly

Event details: Invited workshop session lasting for 3.5 hours at the 12th SAOIM (Southern African Online Information Meeting) conference in Pretoria, South Africa.

Date and time: 08:30-12:00 on Tuesday, 3rd June 2014.

Venue:  CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa


Despite the uncertainties faced by librarians and information professionals, technology continues to develop at breakneck speed, offering many 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 learning about and making use of ‘Delphi’ processes. The workshop also provides 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.

The workshop will conclude by exploring the implications of the technology trends which have been identified on the future for libraries. Is this a golden age for libraries, with the tremendous growth in digital buy viagra australia content and online services leading to increased recognition of the importance of those with professional information management skills? Or in an environment in which many individuals will be creating and managing their own digital resources and curating other digital resources of interest, will there be a need for those with specialist knowledge? Or might information management and resource creation and discovery be provided by a small number of global companies such as Google and Amazon?

Come along to this workshop and explore the ways in which evidence can be gathered in order to explore trends which may held to identify which scenarios may materialise!

Timetable and Resources

The timetable is given below.


  • Slideshare is the master public repository for the slides. Authorstream is used as a backup.
  • The slides used at the workshop are available under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence.
Time Session Slides
07.30 Registration
08.30 A: Introduction [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]
08.45 B: Predicting the Future: The Need and the Risks [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]
09.00 C: Let’s Predict the Future
C1: Let’s Predict the Future: Some Approaches [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]
C2: Gathering and Prioritising Your Predictions [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]
10.00 Tea break
10.30 D: We’ve Predicted the Future! So What?!
D1: Agile Thinking [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]
D2: Making the Case [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]
11.00 E: Prepare for the Unexpected
E1: Scenario Planning [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]
11.30 F: Conclusions and Reflections [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]
12.00 Workshop finishes

The following additional resources are available.

Title Slides
G1: Amplified Events [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]
G2: Digital Badges [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]
G3: The HyperlinkedLibrary [Slideshare] – [Authorstream]