Seminar Summaries – Professor Rae Earnshaw


Research Seminars

1.      “Business, the Internet, and New Media – Challenges and Opportunities”

2.      “Interdisciplinary Collaboration Methodologies in Art, Design and Media”

3.      “The Future of Media: Dynamic Content Transformation and Distribution”

4.      “Transformative Interactions between Media Culture and Digital Content”

5.      “From the Information Age to the Intelligence Age – Exploiting IT and Convergence”


Leadership and Management Seminars

6.      “Transformational Leadership and Management” (4 seminars)


“Business, the Internet, and New Media – Challenges and Opportunities”

Summary of Presentation

Technology and applications are changing the way companies do business.  It enables them to work together better in areas where there are advantages in co-operation.  Devices and interfaces to technology are becoming increasingly mobile and intelligent.  From anywhere to anywhere is now the nature of business.  How will these intelligent communications affect and drive the future of business?  What are the competitive challenges and opportunities, and how can we best address them?  In addition, SMEs represent 85% of all actors in the creative industry sectors in the EU.  How can they effectively compete with global international corporations in addressing potential new markets and leveraging funding for R&D to compete successfully?  How can innovative products, tools, applications and services be developed in an optimum way with significant commercial potential?


“Interdisciplinary Collaboration Methodologies in Art, Design and Media”

Summary of Presentation

Collaboration in art, design and media has traditionally taken place in the studio.  Recent experiments in collaboration and interaction have sought to identify the factors that promote productive and creative collaboration and those that do not.  It is clear that virtual collaboration mediated by computer networks can include many of the elements that characterise face to face collaboration.  This also facilitates international collaboration just as easily as national and local ones.  At the same time, digital convergence is producing environments and artefacts that blur the traditional distinctions between art and technology, and which give rise to new creative opportunities and new kinds of creative works.  These are described in this paper and their significance is explored.  These also cause further reflections on the contributions that science can make to art and vice-versa.

“The Future of Media: Dynamic Content Transformation and Distribution”

Summary of Presentation

Media content is becoming ubiquitous and globally accessible, and can be held and accessed just as easily on a global network as on local devices which are increasingly intelligent and network ready.  Digital intelligence is becoming seamless and invisible, enabling more attention to be paid to the content and the user’s interaction with it.  The effects of convergence on the media landscape are substantial.  Traditional media distribution channels are increasingly in the hands of the consumer rather than the distributor.  News information can be generated by the general public by means of mobile devices and have a dynamic global impact via social networking sites.  Political elections are being influenced in real time by information circulating on social networks in addition to the more formal statements of policy.  This paper explores some of these transformative effects, the disruptive effects on traditional business models, and their implications for the future.


“Transformative Interactions between Media Culture and Digital Content”

Summary of Presentation

Digital content is increasingly pervasive.  Communication technologies enable the creation and dissemination of content on a transnational basis.  However, the relationship between communication technology and society is complex and is impacted both by the requirements of the communicator and also cultural and social norms associated with the context of the user.  How does digital technology influence media communication?  How far does media communication transcend technology?  The boundaries between the various forms of formal communication and social communication are blurring and the user is no longer just a consumer or someone who interacts with information; they are also a creator of new information.  Companies with commercial interests in these areas are seeking to exploit new forms of communication without alienating the user.


“From the Information Age to the Intelligence Age – Exploiting IT and Convergence”

Summary of Presentation

Information technology and telecommunications are transforming the way citizens communicate, work, and enjoy leisure.  Digital convergence is bringing about a revolution in the way data are collected, stored, annotated, presented and accessed.  Once stored they become information, which eventually enriches the intelligence base of the user population.  There are four principal reasons why this is happening: reducing cost, increasing quality, flexibility of access and increasing system bandwidth.  Moore’s Law  results in ever-decreasing costs of processing and storage, whilst digital encoding ensures that all forms of media (text, image, sound and music) are held in a flexible, accurate, enduring format that previous technologies could not support.  The ability to encode all types of media within a common format has made possible completely new ways of integrating and accessing information, such as web pages supported by sound, music and animation.  Increased system bandwidth has resulted in mobile telephones capable of receiving text, voice, images, videos and web pages.  Broadband internet services have transformed the quality and content of information services at a global level.  Devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, PSPs and computers are increasingly more “intelligent”, can be networked and are increasingly connectable through “blue tooth” interfaces.  User interfaces are becoming more adaptable and flexible, and can be tailored to particular application domains.  Digital information is becoming seamless and invisible, enabling more attention to be paid to the content and the user’s interaction with it.  The changes that digital convergence are bringing about are substantial, ubiquitous and will be enduring. 


“Transformational Leadership and Management” (4 seminars)


UK Universities face unprecedented external pressures locally, nationally, and internationally.  These include the need to attract students, the importance of providing an excellent quality student learning experience, increasing selectivity in research, the increasing importance of national and world league tables, and the need to compete effectively for international students and national and international research grants.  All these aspects are reflected to a greater or lesser extent in institutional performance indicators that in turn are incorporated into league tables.  Internal pressures include the need to increase efficiency and effectiveness, maintain and enhance quality in teaching, research, and knowledge transfer, and seek to improve morale.  This series of 4 seminars will outline current best practice in the sector for addressing these challenges, and the current drivers for greater knowledge and skills training for future managers and leaders.  It will also provide references to further relevant material and work-sheets to support and enable self-development.


Lecture Summaries


Lecture 1 – Universities and their Context

What is the University for?  Current issues and challenges.  External and internal factors which affect Universities.  Evaluation of Universities.  Investment in higher education and research.  Debates on the purposes of Universities.  What the University wants in a leader.  What the students want in a University.  How a University organises its business.  Regulatory issues.  Institutional corporate strategies.


Lecture 2 – Leadership and Management

Definitions of leadership and management.  Management theories.  Leaders and managers.  Coping with rapid change.  Empowerment.  Leadership models. 


Lecture 3 – University Rankings and Drivers

Emotional intelligence.  The enterprising University.  Drivers in the higher education sector.  University rankings.  The levels and skills of educational leadership.  Dimensions of educational performance.  The manager-academic.  Leadership dilemmas.  Management and collegiality.  Current issues.  Self-testing and evaluation.


Lecture 4 – Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership.  Stress in the workplace and its causes.  Vision.  Intellectual stimulation.  New models of transformational leadership.  Results of transformational leadership.  Examples of transformational leaders.  Embedding a culture of transformational leadership.  360 degree review.  Critical success factors.  Organisational futures.


Presenter Biography

Professor Earnshaw completed the Leadership Foundation’s Top Management Programme (TMP) in 2005.  He is a TMP Fellow, a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Information Technology Professional, a former Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bradford (2004-09) and former Dean of the School of the School of Informatics.  He is Professor of Creative Industries and Interactive Systems at Glyndwr University, Wales, and Emeritus Professor of Electronic Imaging at the University of Bradford.  He has been a Visiting Professor at Illinois Institute of Technology, George Washington University, USA and Northwestern Polytechnical University, China.  He has led a series of University Research Development Workshops at Glyndwr University in 2012-13.  He is the UK representative at IFIP TC5, a member of the European Union and National Science Foundation Joint Research Strategy Committee, and an adviser to a number of overseas governments.  He has been a QAA Institutional Auditor, a QAA Subject Reviewer and been involved in many institution evaluations in the UK and internationally.  He has published 200 papers and 36 books.  Publishers include Cambridge University Press, Springer, Addison-Wesley, Academic Press, John Wiley & Sons Inc, and IEEE Computer Society Press, USA.


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