JCU Launches Future and Innovation “Virtual Forum” and Hosts Workshop with Mozilla
The John Cabot University Institute of Future and Innovation Studies is pleased to announce the launch of the JCU Future and Innovation “Virtual Forum.” This public Virtual Forum will use different digital platforms to host a number of talks, conferences, and workshops on challenging contemporary subjects with distinguished guests and JCU hosts.
Spurred by the Covid-19 crisis, the virtual transformation of work, culture, politics, and social interactions and experiences has become the new normal. New forms of normality are evolving and will coexist with face-to-face social interactions once the health crisis is over.
The JCU Institute of Future and Innovation Studies is collaborating with Mozilla and the Mozilla Foundation to develop experiences, tools, reflections, and best practices for online Virtual Events. This is being done through experiments with various online virtual formats and digital platforms. It was this collaboration that led to the creation of the JCU Future and Innovation “Virtual Forum.”
The “Virtual Forum” represents JCU’s commitment to the study, exploration, evaluation, and ongoing adoption of new and developing digital communications tools. It is also an example of JCU’s dedication to advanced education, open scientific debate and communication, cultural participation, and global partnerships and outreach.
On April 29, the JCU Future and Innovation Virtual Forum hosted its first workshop in collaboration with Mozilla and the Mozilla Foundation titled “Preparing for the New Normal. Early Experiences and Innovation in the Organization of Virtual Events.” The workshop, open to JCU students, faculty, and guests, was hosted by JCU professors Francesco Lapenta (Director of the JCU Institute of Future and Innovation Studies) and Stefano Gazziano, with special guests Amy Raikar, Abigail Cabunoc Mayes, and Chad Sansing (Senior Program Officers at the Mozilla Foundation).
In this first virtual workshop, guests guided participants through a hands-on demonstration of some of the virtual tools and workflows that Mozilla and the Mozilla Foundation are using to work remotely, stay connected, and maintain global outreach. In just one hour, participants in the workshop created an 8-page white-paper in which a broad variety of topics was discussed, such as Community Participation Guidelines, Virtual Participation Guidelines, online etiquette that Mozilla is developing for virtual events, as well as success stories and challenges.
Recommendations were provided on how to take notes, set expectations, establish timing, and create spaces to process information. A number of platforms that might be used to host different virtual events, such as virtual break out rooms, were introduced and the differences among them discussed.
“It was like Formula 1 pilots coming to train people who just started on a go-kart,” said one of the participants in the workshop. While this may not be true for all the participants, it is certainly true that the greater society at large has just started out in the process of adapting and creating new virtual social environments.