The 2006 Technology Symposium will feature plenary session addresses by some of the world's leading thinkers and innovators on the links between technology and its human users, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Garden Conversation Sessions

Main speakers will make formal 30 minute presentations in the plenary sessions. They will also participate in 60 minute Garden Conversation sessions at the same time as the parallel sessions. The setting is a circle of chairs outdoors. These sessions are entirely unstructured - a chance to meet the plenary speaker and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

The Speakers

  • Saskia Sassen

  • Saskia Sassen is the Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago, and Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. Her new book is Territory, Authority and Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (Princeton University Press 2006). She has just completed for UNESCO a five-year project on sustainable human settlement for which she set up a network of researchers and activists in over 30 countries. Her most recent books are the edited Global Networks, Linked Cities,(New York and London: Routledge 2002) and the co-edited Socio-Digital Formations: New Architectures for Global Order (Princeton University Press 2005). The Global City is out in a new fully updated edition in 2001. Her books are translated into fifteen languages. She serves on several editorial boards and is an advisor to several international bodies. She is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Cities, and Chair of the Information Technology and International Cooperation Committee of the Social Science Research Council (USA). Her comments have appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, the International Herald Tribune, Vanguardia, Clarin, the Financial Times, among others.

  • David Hakken

  • David Hakken is an anthropologist who now teaches in the new School of Informatics at Indiana University. For a quarter of a century, he has been a major advocate for using ethnographiy for field studies of the relationship of AICTs and social change.

    His books, including Computing Myths, Class Realities (1993), Cyborgs@Cyberspace? (1999), and The Knowledge Landscapes of Cyberspace (2003) also address how to use technology to support rather than marginalize human qualities. He has recently been involved as a civil society delegate to the WSIS, promoting globalization of Informatics research in Indiana, and Fulbright research on F/LOSS development and advocacy in the Malay World.

  • Louise Vandelac, MA, DEA, PhD

  • Dr Louise Vandelac is a full professor in the Sociology Department at the Environmental Sciences Institute, Université du Québec à Montréal, and an associate professor in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal. Dr Vandelac is also Director of the Centre for the Study of Biological Interactions in Environmental Health (CINBIOSE), a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre, and of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). She has been invited to sit on numerous public bodies, including the Royal Commission on Reproductive Technologies, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Éducation, the Comité Québécois sur les OGM, and the Comité Aviseur Saint-Laurent Vision 2000, and is beginning second terms on the Commission des Sciences Naturelles et Sociales and the Ethics Committee of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

    Dr Vanddelac has won several prizes and was inducted into the Cercle des Phénix, which recognizes the contribution of Quebec public figures to the environmental cause; she was made an honorary member of the Association Québécoise des Biologistes; and she was one of 12 Quebec women honoured during the 2005 Écodéfi international conference by the Réseau Québécois des Femmes en Environnement for their significant contribution to the environment. She has also received several prizes and honourable mentions at film festivals in Quebec, France and the United States for the National Film Board documentary Main basse sur les gènes ou les aliments mutants, which she codirected with Karl Parent.

    A sociologist with many interests, Louise Vandelac is often invited to present her work or provide an expert’s point of view on current events. In 2005, she was named one of Elle Québec’s 40 Women of the Year, one of Châtelaine’s 7 “Green” Women, and one of 100 influential people in Quebec selected by the French magazine Le Point. Since 2000, Dr Vandelac has been the subject of a dozen profiles on radio programs and in magazines and academic journals.

  • David Lyon

  • Dr David Lyon is Queen’s Research Chair in the Department of Sociology, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. He is the Director of the Queen’s Surveillance Project, a multidisciplinary, internationally collaborative research program that is at the forefront of surveillance studies in the world. He is regarded as a pioneer in developing the emerging sub-discipline of surveillance studies. His many books and articles (which have been translated into over a dozen languages) have been very influential with academics from political science, history, philosophy, psychology and geography to criminology and information technology studies. With a reputation for being very well informed, remarkably fluent and easy to read, and with high scholarly standards, Dr. Lyon’s reputation in the sociologies of surveillance in contemporary societies is unequalled.

    Dr Lyon’s research explores how routine, everyday “surveillance” in Canada and around the world raises questions about civil liberties, privacy and social inclusion. In the post 9/11 world, Dr. Lyon’s research is socially relevant and practically important. At a time when personal information is highly valuable to governments and corporations for convenience, efficiency and safety, consumers and citizens often become complacent about the proliferation and security of their personal data.

    From “soft” surveillance such as supermarket loyalty cards to “harder” forms such as video-surveillance, location tracking systems or national ID cards, Lyon’s work demonstrates that “social sorting” is always involved, and always has consequences for persons whose data are processed. Using a combination of theoretical, empirical and cross-national comparative approaches, Dr. Lyon’s research identifies the ramifications of processing personal data in computer networks, and encourages the development of policies and practices that respect civil liberties and privacy and pursue social justice.

    The Surveillance Project is highly collaborative, and encourages international participation to enhance the comparative nature of the analysis. Under Lyon’s leadership and management of this complex and multi-site initiative, the Project has attracted highly significant research funding, providing essential support for training the next generation of social scientists. Graduate students, both registered and visiting, are currently drawn from Japan, Turkey, China, Italy and the Netherlands, and Dr. Lyon’s work integrates them into an international network of surveillance researchers.

    Dr Lyon works closely with public agencies such as the federal Privacy Commission and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to examine new surveillance technologies and programs. He is the co-editor of Surveillance and Society, an on-line refereed journal, and is on the editorial boards of several major international journals. In addition to a heavy teaching load, including introductory sociology and a busy research program, Dr. Lyon is actively engaged as a visiting scholar and keynote speaker around the world.