Keynote speeches

Challenges and opportunities for open collaboration

by Kevin Crowston, iSchool, Syracuse University, Wednesday, August 22

Speech presentation:

Social computing systems have collectively revolutionized the ways we work, play, share and gather information. A common feature of these systems is the way they enable individuals to collaborate independent of organizational context. While this work has undeniable benefits, it also poses challenges.

In this talk, I will discuss three challenges to open working that we have encountered in our research:

  • limits to coordinating work though a shared work product,
  • difficulties for contributors to know what outputs are value,
  • and difficulties to empower members of the community.

But “Problems are nothing but wake-up calls for creativity”, and future research might address these problems. 

Bio from

“Kevin Crowston is Distinguished Professor of Information Science and Associate Dean for Research at Syracuse University School of Information Studies. His research examines new ways of organizing made possible by the use of information technology. He approaches this issue in several ways: empirical studies of coordination-intensive processes in human organizations (especially virtual organization); theoretical characterizations of coordination problems and alternative methods for managing them; and design and empirical evaluation of systems to support people working together.”

Qualitative and quantitative studies and Wikipedia.

A discussion by Aaron Halfaker & Stuart Geiger, Friday, August 23

Discussion presentation:

Bios (from the web site hyper-linked)

Aaron Halfaker (Wikipedia Foundation) is “computer scientist and a principal research scientist at the Wikimedia Foundation. He earned a Ph.D. in computer science from the GroupLens research lab at the University of Minnesota in 2013. He is known for his research on Wikipedia and the decrease in the number of active editors of the site. He has also built an artificial intelligence engine known as “Objective Revision Evaluation Service” (or ORES for short), used to identify vandalism on Wikipedia and distinguish it from good faith edits.

Stuart Geiger (UC Berkeley) is an ethnographer and post-doctoral scholar at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science at UC-Berkeley. He defines himself as an interpretive social scientist by training with a background in the humanities. As an ethnographer, he uses many different qualitative, quantitative, and computational methods to holistically study and analyze technology and culture, while trying to uphold two goals: 1) to do research while embedded in the social worlds I study, and 2) to understand the worldviews and perspectives of the people he studies. He calls himself an ethnographer of computation and a computational ethnographer, because he studies people as they build, support, interact with, and relate to computational systems, as well as uses computational (and other) methods in his own work.

Collaboration and Security: solving hard problems users and organizations face

by Ludovic Dubost, Friday, August 24

Speech presentation:

In this keynote, Ludovic Dubost, CEO of XWiki will talk about two important subjects that companies have a hard time implementing and also to make work together.

  • how to convince individuals to use collaborative-oriented tools versus individual-oriented tools.
  • how to manage privacy and confidentiality in the era of the cloud and collaboration.

Ludovic’s company, XWiki SAS, is involved in these too important subjects. 14 years ago, Ludovic created XWiki, an Enterprise Structured Wiki which promotes open collaboration. XWiki SAS has implemented more than 500 projects on the Wiki concept inside companies of all types. In 2016, XWiki SAS has created Cryptpad, an open source project and zero-knowledge cloud service ( which aims to provide a new development model allowing (realtime) collaboration on documents (wysiwyg pads, text files, office documents) while allowing client side encryption of the data. These two projects are tackling the two difficult challenges of getting organizations to favor collaboration and to favor security. An even stronger challenge being to combine the two challenges.

Ludovic will share the experience of XWiki SAS tacking these challenges and present the roadmap ahead for XWiki and CryptPad.

Bio from

Ludovic Dubost, founder and CEO of XWiki (a 2M€ turnover open source company), recognized in the list of 100 notable French developers by Tariq Krim, in his report regarding the French software developer talents to The (former) French Minister in charge of the digital society, Fleur Pellerin,