Keynote Speaker Ideas

It worked well having a big keynote opening each day, repeat again for 2010.

1) Tim Berners Lee - the perfect follow on from Nigel Shadbolt and Wendy Hall
Tm charges a fortune to speak so unless we can get him through Nigel or Wendy or some other means we cant afford him!
(comments LC)

2) Someone from Google would be good - absent from the conference for the last 2 years
Marissa Mayer,VP Search Products and User Experience, Google
Heard she is not that great - any other Google suggestions?
(comments LC)

3) Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a fellow at the Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Author: Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organisation's Toughest Challenges.
Could be too IT focused (comments LC)

4) Evan Williams, Founder, Twitter

5) Jeff Besos, Chairman and CEO, Amazon

6) Anthony Rose, Head of Digital Media Technology, BBC

7) Ramesh Harji, Head of Information Exploitation, Cap Gemini
(Keynote at Enterprise Search Summit 2009 - recommended by Martin White)

8) Matt Webbe, Co-Founder, Dopplr
Making data understandable through visualisation

Matt Webbe is superb, and in fact, you could invite him and Matt Jones together to do a double act. They're superb. Lots to learn on how you organise data into meaningful stories for the CEO (or anyone else who isn't a librarian ;-)
(Comments EW)

9) Don Tapscott, Author of 'Wikinomics' has a new book coming out Sept 2010 so could be timely:
MACROWIKINOMICS: Rebooting Business and the World (forthcoming Sept 2010)

10) Dan Pink on motivation at - HH
Track keynote speaker?
He touches on themes of new knowledge creation and innovation

Conflict/debate to be had around "Ownership of information" - librarians might have felt they owned it in the past, but this is changing in the crowdsourced times in which we live. For this, Dan Pink would be a good one to start off as his current book on motivation is all about how rewarding people with larger pay packets is the one way to demotivate them to do tasks, while those who work for nothing, out of passion alone, produce better results over longer periods of time with lots of information - Comments EW

11) William Powers has extended his original essay Hamlet's Blackberry ( into a book being published by HarperCollins in both the US and UK in June. HC's advance publicity in the US ( has strong echoes of the thesis in next Saturday's edition of The Virtual Revolution (BBC2, 2015) about changes in the way that online affects our brains. (See

12) In similar vein, Nicholas Carr (Is Google making us stupid, Atlantic monthly,; and The Big Switch (WW Norton, 2008)

LC comments - Nicholas Carr is the closing keynote speaker at SLA Conference 2010 in the US. Think he is a real contender for opening one of the days.

13) Dennie Haye who is the Obnoxios Librarian Blog is very entertaining. Perhaps not day one but (gwenda)

14) Martin Lewis. Money (gwenda)

15) John Lanchester author of Whoops! (about finance)(gwenda)

16) Dr Nicholas Christakis, Author of 'Connected: The surprising power of our social networks and how they shape our lives', and Professor of Sociology, Medical Sociology and Medicine, Harvard University (Steve Dale - heard him speak at recent Demos event)


Dr Christakis:

17) Dion Hinchcliffe - Respected comme
ntator on Enterprise 2.0, Web 2.0 and social media. Possibly bias towards technology. Maybe not for first day keynote, but could fit with a social media or semantic web theme. (Steve)

18) Russell Davies is BRILLIANT on the main themes of where information can take us, and has been behind Newspaper Club which is a revolution in terms of mass-produced information and the printing press.
(Comments EW)

19) Etienne Wenger- co-author of Cultivating Communities of Practice and leading thinker on social learning.

20) A key figure from the library world (to balance the tech focus, maybe not D1 but D2/D3). Last year we had Blaise Cronin, who would be good this year:

Possible ideas:
Michael Stephens:
Michael Porter:
(Both Michael's could do a 'Future of the Library' type presentation)
Lynne Brindley, British Library (has spoken quie a few times though)


I thinks we agreed that we would vote for our three top candidates for main keynote speaker.

My (Steve Dale) votes as follows:

1. Tim Berners Lee (though not sure if this is a wasted vote in view of the fact we will need to prevail upon his good will via Nigel Shadbolt and Wendy Hall. Plus, in view of his heavy schedule and other priorities - can we rely on him being there?). Slight reservation on his skills as a keynote speaker (recent briefings to the press on were not that inspiring). However, likely to remain high profile this year with the making public data public initiative, and would be a big pull for conference delegates.

2. Dion Hinchcliffe - I've heard him speak at two conferences and found him to be very engaging and insightful. Has a good blend of business, information and technology skills (with bias probably towards technology. Prolific blogger with a large following, and definitely a mover and shaker in the Enterprise 2.0 world. Has recently extended his Web 2.0 University franchise to (US) Government via his Gov 2.0 University course for managers - which could be a draw for the public sector contingent.

3. Jeff Besos - We tend to take Amazon fro granted these days, but lets not forget that they were the pioneers for an entirely different business model. Long before 'the cloud' became a legitimate and cost-effective way of delivering web-based services, and almost 10 years before 'Web 2.0' had taken hold in the English language, Amazon were using both to deliver a highly scalable, personalised and trusted on-line service. They challenged the traditional redbrick business models and won. I think it would be interesting to get Jeff Besos to reflect on lessons learnt over the past 15 years (yes, it's been that long!) since they started business, where they see their business going over the next few years, and maybe touch on the sort of leadership skills needed in a 21st century marketplace. I think there are many organisations in both public (e.g. Gov and Local Gov) and private sectors that hold Amazon as an exemplar in minimising the transactional costs of doing business.

Gwenda Sippings votes:

1) Evan Williams, Founder, Twitter

2) Ramesh Harji, Head of Information Exploitation, Cap Gemini

3) Williams Powers, Author, Hamlet's Blackberry

Lorna Candy votes:

1) Dion Hinchcliffe (Hinchliffe and Company) recently acquired by the Dachis Group:

2) Jeff Besos, Amazon (although I think Werner Vogels, CTO to talk about cloud computing too (I invited Werner last year, he was unable to attend but Amazon could have found someone else, not sure what level they would have been…)

3) Nicholas Carr, Author 'What the internet is doing to our brains.'
Also closing keynote at SLA Conference in USA, June - so not sure if good idea to have him as well. Having said that we dont get many attendees from the SLA conference so not sure there would be much overlap.

A close 3rd is Ramesh, Harji, Cap Gemini - for D2 or D3.

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