Community, Forum and Conference

September 22, 2010

When I started as chair earlier this year I instigated a process with the trustees of ascertaining what our core ambition as a Society should be. We concluded that what above all else we represented was a “community” of lawyers and related professionals joined by a common interest in information technology and the law associated with this increasingly broad field. This means not just an on line community, which we are, but a community which offers opportunities for us, despite our different and sometimes competing backgrounds, to meet and discuss, debate and learn more about our intriguing and ever changing common interest in IT and the law.

There are in my view two events in our calendar which epitomise this “real community”, the Policy Forum (just finished) and the  Annual Conference (just to come).

I attended some of the Policy Forum this week, for I confess the first time, and was hugely impressed by the quality of the sessions and of the audience which contained many of the leading IT academics and practitioners in the UK and indeed Europe. The presentations around “open” IT issues sparked debates about cutting edge issues on cloud computing, data protection and copyright law. Has copyright law finally ceased to address the needs of the online world and should it be replaced by a “use right”? Did you know that pacemakers are vulnerable to hacking – a frightening thought. This truly was a coming together of a community.

Our 10th Annual Conference – The Software Symposium on 15 and 16 October is the other event where our community particularly manifests itself. This year the software theme allows us to explore issues from open source through to Agile development. There is a great range of speakers and topics and the opportunity to meet the leaders in many of these subjects at the formal events or in the bar afterwards. We are in a great hotel in Bath where I am reliably informed (by my wife) that the spa has three different types of sauna!

So if you haven’t booked already come along and join the increasing number of our members already booked up for what I know will be a great event.