National Digital Forum 2015

Announcing: Keynotes 2015

We're delighted to introduce our keynote speakers for conference 2015.NDF 2015 Keynote Speakers

International Keynotes

Trevor Owens

User centered digital history, digital collecting, and digital preservation. Interested in GIFs, video games, & online communities.

 Trevor Owens is the Senior Program Officer responsible for the development of the National Digital Platform portfolio in the Office of Library Services at the US Institute of Museum and Library Services. He also teaches graduate courses in the University of Maryland’s iSchool’s digital curation program and digital history courses for American University’s public history program.

From 2010-2015, Trevor served as a Digital Archivist with the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) in the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the Library of Congress. Where he played a key role in defining national strategy for digital collecting and preservation. In 2013, he served as the Special Curator for an expansive online collection and thematic exhibition Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond. Before joining the Library of Congress he was the community lead for the Zotero project at the Center for History and New Media and before that managed outreach for the Games, Learning, and Society Conference.

Trevor has a doctorate in social science research methods and educational technology from the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University. Trevor’s research focuses on the history and design of online community software systems, video games and culture, and software tools for humanities scholarship. The results of his dissertation research were recently published in Designing Online Communities: How Designers, Developers, Community Managers, and Software Structure Discourse and Knowledge Production on the Web.

George Oates

Director of Good, Form & Spectacle and previously Lead Designer at Flickr Commons. Designs interfaces people love, demystifies complex systems, asks why a lot, and makes people feel excited about change.

George has been working on the web since 1996 in roles like designer, producer, product manager, project lead, and art director. Her particular skills lie in designing interfaces people love, quickly understanding complex systems, analyzing workflows, challenging status quo by asking why a lot, and making people feel comfortable with and excited about change.

George was the lead designer of Flickr from its inception until she changed gears in 2007 to invent the Flickr Commons program, created to help public institutions share their photography collections on Flickr, and in which the Library of Congress was the launch partner. She's worked at the non-profit Internet Archive, as project lead for a remarkable editable library catalog called Open Library. She designed the system to allow people to borrow eBooks, one of the first of its kind online. As art director at Stamen Design, George worked with clients like Facebook, Google, the Parks Conservancy and MTV/Viacom on various data visualization and mapping projects.

George serves on the board of Sol Design Lab, a company making solar energy installations, and on the advisory board of the Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, a progressive organization exploring the interconnections between art and technology. And finally, she is a research associate of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

George is currently the Director of Good, Form & Spectacle, a London design firm focussed on the cultural heritage sector.

George's homepage is a bit of george, and she's been blogging since 2003.

Ben O’Steen

Leads British Library Labs, interested in crowdsourcing, creative reuse of library content and data sets, and makes machines that make things.

Ben O’Steen is the Technical Lead for the British Library Labs project, funded by The Andrew W Mellon Foundation. The Labs project seeks to bring the British Library’s existing content and researchers together, to explore and map out new areas of
research and use approaches such as crowdsourcing. A key project of recent years has been the Mechanical Curator, which has led to hundreds of millions of extra views of British Library content and dozens of creative, research-based and entrepreneurial outputs that are known about.

Ben has over ten years of experience working with university library and archive systems and content, with a focus on preserving and providing research data and openly licensed material to researchers. Ben is also interested in making digital things 'physical' and has built a number of 3D printers and plotters, you can read an interesting presentation about this work here.

New Zealand Keynotes

This year we are also staging a back-to-back session of two 40 minute keynote presentations from local speakers. We are delighted to present Claire Amos and José Barbosa in a plenary session themed around user perspectives. These speakers from different sectors— education and TV production—will provide unique insight into their experience (and those of their students) using digital GLAM services.

This session promises to flip the conversation, tell some hard truths, and points to ways GLAMs can tailor their digital services to the needs of real people.

Claire Amos

Deputy Principal, enables 21st Century learning, loves education, design and tattoos.

Claire is a Deputy Principal at Hobsonville Point Secondary School—a brand new NZ MLE secondary school that opened in 2014. Claire has been a Director of e-learning, has lead and taught English for 17 years, her roles ranging from facilitator of the ICTs in English community on English Online, Auckland Secondary English Facilitator to Head of English Faculty. Claire also enjoys working at national level with agencies such as New Zealand Qualifications Authority, NetSafe and the Ministry of Education 21st Century Learning Reference Group with a focus on enabling future-focused change and supporting teachers and students in blended learning environments.

Claire is passionate about her family, education, design and tattoos, living by the mantra: “you can never be overdressed or overeducated”. 

José Barbosa

Directed ‘The Naughty Bits’, broadcasts, researches, produces, writes, draws and makes things for money or cheeseballs.

Launched via rocket into space by a scientist on a dying planet José Barbosa has been making things for some time. He was Auckland University radio station bFM's News and Editorial Director before moving to TV. There he spent five years as field reporter for Media 7 and Media 3. This year he researched, wrote and directed The Naughty Bits, a three hour documentary series for Prime TV about the history of censorship in New Zealand. He will make things for you if you give him money. Or cheeseballs.

Call for papers

We’re delighted to announce the call out for presenters for the National Digital Forum 2015 (12-14 October, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington).

Please submit your proposal by Thursday 28th May.

The conference will be a mixture of keynote presentations, plenary sessions and lightning talks. We are also interested in running pre/post conference workshops, so do get in touch if you have an idea for those. To get a sense of the National Digital Forum, please take a look at the line up for past conferences here.

We are keen to hear from practitioners from across the GLAM sector. If you would like to raise a pressing issue, share an inspiring project, or discuss opportunities and challenges in the sphere of digital cultural heritage, we look forward to hearing from you. We welcome proposals on any topic that's affecting the culture and heritage sector, but if that's too broad here are a few starters:

Cross-sector initiatives

How can we work together better? Where are the most interesting and useful points of connection?

Crowd sourcing and gamification

How can our users helpfully contribute to our work? And what are some smart ideas for managing those relationships?

Indigenous knowledge and digital preservation

How do we build and preserve the memory of a multicultural nation?

Science and research

How can the GLAM and science communities work together? Where are the opportunities?

User focus

What do you know about your customers, and how are you connecting to them?

DIY anything

How are you solving the challenges of digital services on limited budgets?

The conference is not limited to these topics however, and we encourage you to submit your abstract even if it falls outside of this framework.  Please submit your proposal using the online form here.

Please feel free to email Conference Programme and Speakers Leads, Thomasin and Michael at if you would like to discuss your proposal prior to submitting.

Proposals are due Sunday 24th May.

NDF2015 conference, Te Papa in October

This year's conference will be at Te Papa on Wellington's waterfront in the middle of October, Monday to Wednesday, 12 to 14 October. Expect the usual mix of incredible keynotes and speakers from here and overseas, with workshops and social events thrown in for good measure. We hope to see you then so save the dates!

NDF2015 is being convened by Andy Neale (DigitalNZ at the National Library, Department of Internal Affairs).

NDF2014 conference

Thank you to everyone who attended NDF2014 in November at Te Papa. From the feedback we received it was a huge success in no small part to the many people and organisations who attended, spoke, sponsored and helped organise the conference. Information about the conference is now available in our past conferences archive and you can view nearly all the talks on our YouTube channel.