IA Summit 2017 - Backstage
Notifications have been sent, acceptances made, the program released and we’re good to go. IAS 2017 looks to be an excellent experience of examining how we as information professionals integrate with the increasing presence of artificial intelligence in our daily lives.
As some of you may recall, there was quite a dust-up on Twitter about the diversity of our keynote panel. This carried over into the diversity of the conference at large. Now that the program has been released fully, I wanted to take this opportunity to illuminate the extensive process behind putting together a diverse and comprehensive’s conference.
Alberta Soranzo, Curation Manager, created a blind initial review process. This meant that a majority of the workshop and talk submissions were anonymize and reviewed by three individuals. Co-chair Susan Mercer and Alberta averaged the scores after which the top candidates went through final consideration by Alberta and the conference chairs, one. From clicking Submit to the publication of the entire conference program this hundreds of hours from volunteers all of whom are working full-time jobs or sustaining individual practices.
The IA Summit is a community gathering and a community production. We are sustained by the financial and professional guidance of our colleagues at ASIS&T. The core mission of the IA Summit is to promote future thinking on our relationship with, information and the tools that we use to disseminate, manage, present, retain and restore it.
While the IA Summit is influenced by the conference theme, it emerges organically from community and not from selected outreach by paid employees hired by conference organizers. Every time I visit the IA Summit 2017 program page, I see the enormous about of work that went into the selected 5 keynotes and 45 sessions and I say to myself, “worth it.” Every. Single. Time.
Constraints should not be confused with bias. Diversity is at the forefront of IA Summit 2017. You will hear more about that in a more focused post. As individuals and a community let us look for ways beyond conference programming to diversify our community through education, outreach and evangelization. It will mean more work, from all of us, not just conference chairs and curation committees. And, it will be worth it. Every time.
Co-Chair IA Summit 2017