Carsten Sørensen

Digital Innovation and the Curse of the Smart Machine

It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times

Reader at London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

Extensive digital “land grabs” are facilitating evermore intimate codified and algorithmic relationships between the analogue and digital aspects of ourselves, each other and the world we inhabit in general. The increased digitising is presenting both new possibilities, but also significant challenges, for research within the social study of technology. The aim of this keynote will be to outline the most important of these challenges. The talk will argue that digital innovation already now is challenging our current research practices to move beyond a fixation on studying the smart machine.


Dr Carsten Sørensen is Reader (Associate Professor) in Digital Innovation within Department of Management at The London School of Economics and Political Science ( He also holds visiting professorships at University West and Halmstad University in Sweden and is 2015/16 a recipient of an Otto Mønsted Visiting Professorship at Copenhagen Business School. Carsten holds a Ph.D. in computer science from Aalborg University, Denmark. He has since the 1980s researched digital innovation, for example innovating the digital enterprise through mobile technology (, and the innovation dynamics of mobile infrastructures and -platforms ( Carsten has published widely within Information Systems since 1989 (, for example in MIS Quarterly, ISR, ISJ, JIT, Information & Organization, The Information Society, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, and Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems. He is presently Senior Editor for The Information Systems Journal. Carsten also has extensive experience as a Principal Investigator on a number of national, EU, and industry research grants in the UK and Sweden with a total budget of over £3million. He is a member of the Board of Directors of LSE Enterprise ( and special advisor to the Customer Contact Association. Carsten as for a number of years been engaged in assisting and assessing digital start-ups and has for 25 years been actively engaged in academic consultant and executive education with a broad range of organisations – IMF, Microsoft, Google, PA Consulting, Orange, Vodafone, Intel, GEMS, to name just a few.


Margunn Aanestad

Porting IS research to the cloud

Professor at Oslo University, NO - Department of Informatics

More and more spheres of life are impacted by digital, interconnected technologies. Commercial and societal infrastructures are reconfigured based on cloud solutions and platform architectures, and data-intensive approaches shape our knowledge generation and self-understanding. In the talk I will reflect on the implications of these scenarios for IS research. What is the "portability" of mainstay IS topics (such as insights on acceptance, adoption and implementation), as well as novel themes (such as sociomateriality)? The intellectual heritage of the IS field offers significant resources that may help us to understand, explain and influence these developments. We should, however, also seek renewal of our theoretical, methodological, and analytic repertoires in order to be better prepared to study the substantial impacts of the emerging world, and to point to equal, just, humane, and sustainable possible worlds.


Victor Kaptelinin

Activity-centric computing: a thing of the past or path of the future? 

Professor at Umeå University - Department of Informatics

Activity-centric computing—that is, organizing digital tools and
resources around meaningful, higher level activities of the user—was
proposed as an alternative to the traditional application-centric
computing back in the early 1990s. While the application-centric
computing remained, and remains, dominant, a number of concrete
activity-centric systems were developed by human-computer interaction
(HCI) researchers over the years. Such systems include, for instance,
ROOMS, ABC, Kimura, UMEA, Giornata, and co-Activity Manager. The aim
of this talk is to discuss the state of the art in activity-centric
computing and reflect on whether recent developments in digital
technologies, such as mobile computing, cloud computing, and the
Internet of Things, make the activity-centric perspective obsolete or,
on the contrary, point to the need for its further development and
wider adoption.


Victor Kaptelinin is a Professor at the Department of Informatics,
Umeå University, Sweden. He has held teaching and/or research
positions at the Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of
Education and Moscow Lomonosov University, Russia, University of
California in San Diego, USA, and University of Bergen, Norway. His
main research interests are in human-computer interaction (HCI)
theory, technology-enhanced activity spaces, and mobile remote presence.