Press release: Ordnance Survey – Charles Leadbeater

World-renowned innovation expert confirmed as Ordnance Survey keynote speaker

Charles Leadbeater, one of the world’s most influential creative thinkers and author of the book “We-Think: mass innovation, not mass production” is to give the keynote speech at Ordnance Survey’s 2009 Terra future conference.

He will address an audience of leading, academics, business people and decision makers at the Royal Geographical Society, London, about the power of mass collaboration.

In 2008 The Spectator Magazine described Charles as “the wizard of the web” while Accenture, the global management consultancy, ranks him as one of the top management thinkers in the world.

Charles comments: “Geographic information has always been vital to human endeavour, mixing tacit and explicit knowledge, word of mouth instructions and formal maps.

“The mass collaboration of the web, built on the contributions of millions of people, now provides a new way to mix a public formal structured account of our physical world with much more personal, idiosyncratic and Pro Am accounts of the world.

 “My keynote address will focus on how mass collaboration and geography can be harnessed to tackle the global challenges Terra future has identified. Mass collaboration poses challenges to established approaches to creating and sharing geographic information but there are also huge opportunities to map our world together in new ways that are richer, more fruitful and informative.”

The Terra future 2009 conference, to be held on the 24–25 February, will put the spotlight on the connective power of geography and mass collaboration. Both are key tools in achieving sustainable living, tackling climate change and building successful transport infrastructure.

The event is aimed at key influencers, innovators and entrepreneurs from among the business, government, third sector and academic communities. A range of online resources will also be available, with the goal of creating a Terra future community that can continue to work together.

Chris Parker, of Ordnance Survey, comments: “Having a speaker of Charles Leadbeater’s standing and experience is fantastic and indicative of the importance of location information. Geography is the stage on which all natural and human activity plays out. So when it comes to tackling the major challenges we all face, geographic information is an essential ingredient.”

Charles Leadbeater has worked extensively as a senior adviser to the government over the past decade, advising the 10 Downing St Policy Unit, the Department for Trade and Industry and the European Commission on the rise of the knowledge-driven economy and the Internet. The Financial Times has identified him as the outstanding innovation expert in the UK

He is now an adviser to the Department for Education’s Innovation Unit on future strategies for more networked and personalised approaches to learning and education.

Chris continues: “Terra future 2009 is an opportunity for people to come together to share foresight, insight and action in tackling our grand challenges. We are offering people the chance to hear world-renowned speakers, witness new technologies and debate with stakeholders on local actions that will help address national and global issues.”

Alongside Charles Leadbeater, confirmed speakers include Ian Pearson, a futurologist at Futurizon, a start-up futures institute; Lord Puttnam of Queensgate, founding Chair of the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA); and Robin Mannings, a BT expert on disruptive technologies and author of the book ‘Ubiquitous Positioning’.

Previous Terra future events, held in 2005 and 2006, were widely supported and included presentations from Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, and Peter Cochrane OBE, a former chief technologist at BT.

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