Identity Conference 2008, Wellington
There’s been a lot of national interest in this colossal undertaking at Te Papa. Experts have been poking at it, looking at what’s inside. Given its size, the experts have been taking it slow but the NZ Herald thinks that “an initial examination had still yielded a lot of useful information.”
The Conference was two full-on days. Having been quite closely involved, it’s hard for me to stand back and be objective. However, based on hurried conversations, it does seem to have lived up to the high expectations of a global-quality event looking at identity from multiple perspectives.
All five of the international speakers- Malcolm Crompton, Eve Maler, Roger Clarke, Dick Hardt, and Stefan Brands- were great. Dick Hardt was a clear crowd favourite doing what he does best- 1137 slides (give or take a few hundred) of a localised (as opposed to a localized) Identity 2.0 presentation. That’s one of those things you can find new things to enjoy each time.
Malcolm also came across very well as did Eve. Roger was at this combative best while Stefan was probably more engaging in yesterday’s open debate at which he handled tricky questions like ongoing IP issues with IBM over Idemix and the contribution of David Chaum to his patents. Stefan also provided the interesting tidbit of how the Microsoft acquisition was hastened by competitors’ interest.
The senior public service Chief Executives, Minister, and Privacy Commissioner all hit the right pitch with considered views. And, lest we forget, there was the official launch of igovt.
The final panel discussion chaired by John Campbell helped round off the Conference with a business focus. The workstreams in between catered for niche academic and sector interests. One of these that I particularly enjoyed was an insight into Maori perspectives of identity, whakapapa, and the opportunities/challenges that the Internet presents.
So, all in all, two days well spent. Compared to some of the international conferences that I’ve been to, a focus on managing identity and poking at it from many angles gave the Identity Conference a distinctive identity of its own. One that was also distinctively Kiwi.