World IA Day
Last February, World IA Day 2013 kicked off in 15 cities around the world. Ann Arbor was lucky enough to be one of the host cities. Information architecture was invented here, after all. Being an IA/UX guy, I volunteered to help produce the event. This was a great experience, as I got to talk with some of the leaders in the IA field, and just generally learn some cool stuff.
This year I am one of the executive producers for the Ann Arbor location for World IA Day 2014. I'm super pumped. It's still early, but I'm already coming up with a short list of speakers I'm going to ask to present. I've already asked a leading IA expert to speak at Ann Arbor next February, and I may have one of his colleague as well. My goal is to make Ann Arbor the premiere destination for World IA Day 2014.
With the topic being very broad this year (How we can use IA to make the world a better place), I want to consider a diverse lineup. I'm thinking that I want at least one speaker who focuses on ICTD. Information and Communication Technologies for Development focuses on creating and/or applying technologies to aid in bettering and developing societies. I think this is exactly where IA makes the world a better place. Sometimes it's not so much about advancing technology, but making existing technology and information more available. IA plays a huge role in lowering the barrier to accessing this information. Similarly, I might try to reach out to people who work on making data more open and more accessible. We're lucky enough to have data.gov give us a ton of information (though there always could be more!), but if this data is not easily accessible or structured well, it lowers the likelihood that someone will use it, and makes it that much more difficult for us to do something valuable with it.