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Ecsite Conference 2023 Keynote Speakers: Dr Lauren Vargas and Rob Hopkins

Lauren Vargas and Rob Hopkins

It’s with great pleasure that we announce our keynote speakers for the Ecsite Conference 2023 in Malta: Dr Lauren Vargas and Rob Hopkins. In the run-up to the Conference, we’ll let you know more about what they’ll be sharing with us in their addresses.


Dr Lauren Vargas is a consultant, independent researcher and self-described ‘Digital Dragon Wrangler’. Lauren will be joining us to share her unique perspective as an expert with years of experience of exploring the intersection between community and technology. Her impressive and innovative career has led her to being named by The Economist Intelligence Unit as one of the top 25 social business leaders.

As a consultant and principal of Your Digital Tattoo, she helps mission-based organisations to acknowledge and work through continuous change. She uses inclusive and regenerative methods to help individuals and organisations of any size to become more confident in understanding, managing and creating digital experiments, products, and services. As an independent researcher, Lauren is affiliated with the University of Leicester, delivering a "practical approach to building digital literacies within specific museum contexts" for UK and US museums.

The concept of the ‘Digital Dragon’ describes the opportunities and threats that radical digital disruption presents for all organisations. It captures both their unparalleled power if harnessed correctly, and their capacity for destruction if they are not. As a ‘wrangler’ or ‘tamer’ of this Dragon, Dr Lauren Vargas uses her 20 years of experience in assisting organisations with their community, communication and collaboration strategies to help them avoid technology’s potentially damaging effects and to channel this power into a force for good.

The keynote speech is made possible by the DOORS project - Digital Incubator of Museums.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101036071


Rob Hopkins is an author, environmental activist and cofounder of Transition Network and Transition Town Totnes, the world’s first official Transition Town. The author of several books on the transition model, this concept refers to grassroot community projects that increase self-sufficiency in order to radically reduce environmental impacts. He presents the podcast series From What If to What Next, which invites listeners to send in their “what if?” questions and then explores how to make them a reality. In 2012, he was voted one of the Independent’s top 100 environmentalists and was on Nesta and the Observer’s list of Britain’s 50 New Radicals. Hopkins has also appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Four Thought and A Good Read, in the French film phenomenon Demain and its sequel Après Demain, and has spoken at TEDGlobal and three TEDx events.

An Ashoka Fellow, Hopkins also holds a doctorate degree from the University of Plymouth and has received two honorary doctorates from the University of the West of England and the University of Namur. In November 2022 he was made an Honorary Citizen of Liège in Belgium by the Mayor of the city. In 2020 he was a member of the Cambridge Sustainability Commission on Scaling Sustainable Behaviour Change. He is a keen gardener, a founder of New Lion Brewery in Totnes, and a director of Totnes Community Development Society, the group behind Atmos Totnes, an ambitious, community-led development project.

Adapted from www.yourdigitaltattoo.com/about/ and www.robhopkins.net/about/


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