Design Informatics Webinar – Blockchain NGO Panel

Ric Shreves: Director, Emerging Technology – Mercy Corps
Ric Shreves is Mercy Corps’ Director of Emerging Technology. In that role, he explores new technologies and innovations for humanitarian aid and development. He also engages across the agency to facilitate exploration of the potential of distributed ledgers and cryptocurrencies and is the author of two Mercy Corps white papers on blockchain technology. Ric represents Mercy Corps inside the Libra Association where he also sits on the Technical Steering Committee of that project. Prior to joining Mercy Corps, Ric worked for two decades as an IT consultant and author. Since 2006, Ric has authored over a dozen books on open source technologies.

Website: https://RicShreves.net
Next Generation Humanitarian Distributed Platform research paper
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ricshreves/

Dr Chris Elsden: Post-Doctoral Research Associate – University of Edinburgh
Dr Chris Elsden is a post-doctoral research associate in Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. Chris is primarily working on the AHRC Creative Informatics project. He is an interaction design researcher, with a background in sociology, and expertise in the human experience of a data-driven life. Using and developing innovative design research methods, his work undertakes diverse, qualitative and often speculative engagements with participants to investigate emerging relationships with technology – particularly data-driven tools and blockchain technologies. In so doing, he hopes to reveal the many nuanced relationships people and organisations have with digital technology in their everyday lives, and use these insights to identify new and future opportunities for design.

Chris worked previously in the Co-Create group at Northumbria University, on the EPSRC-funded OxChain project, leading user-centred and speculative co-design activities with research partners to explore the future of philanthropy and international development with the emergence of blockchain technologies. In his doctoral research at Open Lab, Newcastle University considered the human implications of self-tracking tools as new ‘technologies of memory’, and outlined opportunities to design new forms of ‘documentary informatics’. Chris’ research has been widely published in the field of HCI – see here for further details.

Website: https://elsden.me/
Twitter: @ElsdenChris

Dr Kate Symons: Mastercard Foundation Online Learning Project Coordinator – University of Edinburgh
Kate’s work currently focusses on online and blended learning in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Edinburgh, supporting online scholars in African contexts to excel academically and develop as transformative leaders. Kates role also includes researching how digital innovations can support and improve global access to higher education, and working with international partners to launch a groundbreaking blended learning access programme for refugees. Kate’s previous work focussed on the role of digital innovation in international development through the Oxchain project, and prior to that researching development and conservation geographies in Mozambique and Kenya. Kate has published research in the areas of international development, political ecology, environmental humanities and digital education, and led a variety of courses across the University of Edinburgh.

Twitter: @katesymons2

Running Order

4pm GMT: Introduction from Chris Speed
4.10pm GMT: Introductions to the panel
4.15pm GMT: Highlights from the Oxchain Showcase
4.25pm GMT: Panel begins
4.50pm GMT: Q&A

Photo credit: Christine Roy @agent_illustrateur