Today, Ithaka’s Next Wave conference

Today I’m in New York helping facilitate Ithaka’s Next Wave conference.  I’m very excited.

The event connects librarians and publishers with the latest thinking on how higher education is changing.  That means a great series of presenters, plus continuous opportunities for conversation.


The day begins with a conversation between Ithaka’s leader, Kevin Guthrie, and the chair of Elsevier, one of the world’s most important scholarly publishers, Youngsuk “YS” Chi.  That’s going to be vital for scholarly communication.

Then we move on to explore how higher education might change.   Caroline Levander, Vice President for Global and Digital Strategy, Rice University, and  Aanand Radia, Managing Director, University Ventures form one panel.  Next Doug Lederman (editor, Inside Higher Ed) takes us into the higher education market and how it is likely to change, based on IHE research.

Then a great panel zeroes in on the liberal arts world, ably led by Melissa Korn (higher education reporter, The Wall Street Journal), and including: Catharine Bond Hill, Ithaka S+R Managing Director, Ithaka;  Sylvester Johnson, Assistant Vice Provost for the Humanities and Professor of Religion and Culture, Virginia Tech; Paula Krebs, Executive Director, Modern Language Association; Ben Schmidt, Assistant Professor of History, Northeastern University.  (The session’s title is provocative: “The Liberal Arts: Essential or Unnecessary?”)

Next, Jeff Selingo and I explore demographics and how they are already starting to change higher ed.  Then we conclude with a panel challengingly titled “Can Most of Us Persist?”  It is led by a fine mix of librarians and publishers, including: George Fowler, University Librarian, Old Dominion University; Simon Ross, Chief Executive, Manchester University Press;  Judy Verses, Executive Vice President, Research, Wiley & Sons; Elaine Westbrooks, Vice Provost of University Libraries and University Librarian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill… all ably organized by my friend Roger Schonfeld, Ithaka S+R Director, Libraries & Scholarly Communications, Ithaka.

I plan on getting as much discussion going as humanly possible, bringing my facilitation skills to bear.  So I’ll work the crowd, nudging people forward with comments and questions.  There’s a Twitter hashtag, #ithakatnw18, which I’ll be following and contributing to.  A bunch of speakers are already there:

We have clickers and a raft of questions ready to go.  I’ll be tracking and assembling the ideas that participants surface throughout.

I know some readers will be there, and I’m looking forward to seeing you.  Does anyone have any questions or ideas they’d like me to work into the mix?

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