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Harnessing the digital transformation

Engage with faculty and graduate researchers on the multi-disciplinary impact of digital technologies during the virtual Queen’s Digitalization Research Conference.

[Photo of an art installation by fabio courtesy of Unsplash]

In recent years, digital technologies have come to play a progressively integral role in nearly all interactions in our day-to-day lives, from business to politics, health, education, culture, and society. The take-over of Zoom, for instance, in our shift from in-person to remote work and school, provides an excellent example of just how influential digital technologies can become in shaping our lives.

Spanning a wide variety of sectors, technology-enabled transformation is a phenomenon that has produced research across a similarly diverse set of disciplines here at Queen’s.

In order to create a space for faculty and graduate students to connect and present their research on digitalization in our society, the Queen’s University Digital Transformation Research Group has organized its first annual Digitalization Research Conference, on Friday, Oct. 22. The virtual conference aims to bring together researchers from across disciplines to facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange amongst students and faculty. The long-term goal is to build upon this collaboration as an important step towards making Queen’s a thought-leader in Canada on digitalization.

The conference is supported by two faculty sponsors: Kathryn Brohman (Smith School of Business), Distinguished Faculty Fellow of Digital Technology, and Martin Hand (Sociology).Queen’s PhD students Patrick Egbunonu (Smith School of Business) and Spencer Huesken (Sociology) are the conference co-chairs.

“The conference will not only translate into future research productivity, but it will also identify cross-disciplinary opportunities for future programs and make Queen’s the ‘go to’ place for policymakers and media,” says Dr. Brohman.

The conference will touch on the themes of technology’s impact on power dynamics, digitalization of work, industry and practice, and social implications of digitalization, data, and information. It also features a presentation by keynote speaker Jan Recker who holds the position of Nucleus Professor for Information Systems and Digital Innovation in the Hamburg Business School at the University of Hamburg. By exploring the intersection of people, technology and organizations, Recker’s work tries to understand how technology design and process thinking can help solve complex problems.

Following the presentations, participants are welcome to join the Digital@Queen’s Hangout, which is meant to provide graduate students with an opportunity to connect socially and share ideas in a more informal forum.

Dr. Brohman stresses the importance of fostering a space for inter-disciplinary collaboration.

“Students and faculty across disciplines are doing amazing work in digitalization and we hope that by starting a conversation, Queen’s will identify ways to make their work more impactful.”  By designating the conference as “pan-Queen’s”, conference leaders are taking a ‘bottom up’ approach to motivating high quality and high impact research as opposed to ‘top-down’ efforts that try to get cross-disciplinary faculty to collaborate.”

The Friday, Oct. 22 event is free and open to the public with registration and full schedule available on Eventbrite. You can find more information about the conference on their website and you can follow them on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for updates and highlights.