Home / Emerge Conference Brings Discussion of Big Technology Ideas to ASU IT Professional Community

Emerge Conference Brings Discussion of Big Technology Ideas to ASU IT Professional Community

BY TETTLEMA – MAY 24, 2018

This week ASU hosted Emerge, an energy-filled internal collaboration event for all ASU IT professionals. Emerge brought over 700 participants together to engage in idea-generating peer discussions and passionately discuss technology trends. Tina Thorstenson, ASU’s CISO and one of the executive sponsors for the event, said “This event is the first of its kind at ASU, and given the amazing energy in the room it certainly served as a catalyst for creatively exploring and ultimately delivering a new level of service to students and faculty.” Attendees were encouraged to reflect on how ASU can leverage current technology advancements to embody the direction of the New American University.

From the welcome address from Dr. Mark Searle, Executive Vice President and University Provost, to the panel of ASU leadership and student leaders, to a series of lightning talks meant to spark ideas, the tone of thinking about big ideas was set for the day. Deputy Provost Stefanie Lindquist, the event’s emcee, moderated a discussion between Tempe Campus Dean of Students Nicole Taylor, Executive VP, Treasurer and CFO Morgan Olsen, Associate VP Research Tamara Deuser, incoming USG Tempe President Allison Sorgeloos, and incoming USG West President Alexander Haw. “The Charter of ASU and its ambition for making access and quality the key elements in the New American University is made possible by technology and the contribution of the ASU IT professionals in this room,” Searle said.

Innovative initiatives were presented by the conference’s lightning talk presenters:

  • LROC: Nine Years Exploring the Moon by School of Earth and Space Exploration professor Mark Robinson

  • Dream, Do, Drive - Finding the Next Gear by CIO Lev Gonick

  • Education through eXploration by President’s Professor Ariel Anbar

  • EdPlus - Inclusive Design for International Populations by Senior Director, Lifelong Learning Initiatives at EdPlus, Bethany Weigele

  • Ask a Biologist: Teaching and Learning K to Grey by Chief Technology Innovation Officer Charles Kazilek

Over lunch, attendees selected one of 50 big ideas to discuss with their lunch partners. These innovative Birds of a Feather discussions ranged from Artificial Intelligence Academic Pathway, to Blockchain Infrastructure for Lifelong Learning, to Enterprise-Wide VR adoption, and beyond. See the full list here.

In the afternoon, participants also hosted breakouts based on their own ideas, gathering the like-minded and the curious to discuss enhancements to processes around Career Progression in IT and Making the Digital Experience Effective for Students.

At the end of the conference, participants enjoyed a gamified experience to highlight the most intriguing ideas of the day. Capping off the event, Gonick said, “There is enormous talent across the IT professionals at ASU. If we are intentional about emerging as a loosely coupled community of practice, we can, and we will be a catalyst for advancing the mission of the New American University.”

All in all, the conference was a joyous, productive day full of important conversations looking to the future of technology and education at ASU, a constant relevant facet in all fields. Learn all about the event here, and make sure to follow UTO on Twitter @ASU_UTO.

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