Letter from the Directors
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.
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