Letter from the Directors


Publication: 2012-06-18


The roots of The Future of Information Alliance go back to a campus-wide brainstorming forum at the University of Maryland in November 2010. This forum was convened to determine whether there was interest and common ground for contemplating the future of information in a collaborative way. About 200 faculty, staff and doctoral students turned out -- coming from all of the university’s colleges, schools and key administrative units. Discussions brought together researchers, teachers, practitioners and students who would not generally find themselves in the same audience or on the same panel at an academic conference. They hailed from astronomy, economics, linguistics, computer science, kinesiology, information studies, business, journalism, library administration, music, art, health communication, American studies, terrorism studies, and much more.

The energy in the room announced the outcome even before the discussion groups could report back on their sessions: a resounding endorsement of the idea that there was a desire and need for broadly inclusive dialogue and research on evolving issues related to the role of information in our lives. The Future of Information Alliance has been launched to answer that call. The Alliance will enable unexpected juxtapositions, facilitate exciting new research agendas, and engage the world beyond campus in this process.


Name:Owen Ambur


Name:Future of Information Alliance


While we are hardly the first generation to desire better means of finding, using, and sharing information, understanding the role information plays in our lives has never been more important. The Future of Information Alliance has been founded to address these challenges -- which exist across the full range of academic fields and in both private and public life -- by serving as a catalyst for transdisciplinary dialogue and innovative solutions.


  • Allison DruinAssociate Dean for Research, iSchool; Co-director, The Future of Information Alliance

  • Ira ChinoyAssociate Professor, Philip Merrill College of Journalism; Co-director, The Future of Information Alliance

  • Researchers

  • Teachers

  • Practitioners

  • Students

  • Office of the Vice President for ResearchThe creation of the Alliance has been organized through the Office of the Vice President for Research. As co-directors, we come from the iSchool and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. But this is not an enterprise "owned" by any particular unit at the University of Maryland. The Office of the Provost has provided key support, as has the Office of the Vice President for University Relations. So have the deans of every college on campus. Each college is represented, as well, on the "Brainstorming Board" that is helping to set the agenda for the Alliance.

  • iSchool

  • Philip Merrill College of Journalism

  • University of Maryland

  • Office of the Provost

  • Office of the Vice President for University Relations