Two Upcoming Conferences + One You Probably Missed

Three upcoming conferences.  One with two robot scientists, another on privatizing defense, and the third on social media for government.  Details after the fold.

First, there’s a RUSI event with a two-person + moderator panel.  On the panel are two noted robot scientists.  One is Dr. Noel Sharkey, the ‘threat to humanity’ expert, and the other is Dr. Ron Arkin, head of Georgia Tech’s robot lab.  I’ve talked somewhat extensively with both over the last several months.  Some of my observations on on Ron’s work is here.  Anyway, it should be interesting to hear how the panel played out.  The rest of the RUSI event was apparently all military. 

Second, NYU School of Law will have a half day conference titled Privatizing Defense: Blackwater, Contractors, and American Security on Thursday, April 3, 2008.  This half-day conference (1:30-5:30p but "time subject to slight change") will be at Lipton Hall, 108 West 3rd Street.  Official invites haven’t apparently gone out yet and I don’t have a URL (nor did I receive an email for the event, it was forwarded to me so you know as much about as I).

The goal of this conference is to examine the outsourcing phenomenon and its ramifications for American institutions, the future of the military, and the national security community. Among the questions we seek to address are: How do we understand the reliance on private contractors? How does the military view this development? What are the benefits and liabilities of this trend? What structures exists to monitor and oversee contractors? What are the larger philosophical and political issues at heart of outsourcing government security? What are the recommended paths forward?

And third, in the shadow of the duel between Army and Air Force over blogging, comes this conference:

How To Engage Your Employees And Citizens By Using BLOGGING, PODCASTING And The Latest WEB 2.0

Technologies To Drive Communication Results

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April 14 – 17, 2008, Crowne Plaza
Old Town Alexandria, VA



Hear practical advice from leading government agencies and organizations who are already using social media for better communication results, including:

– U.S. Geological Survey

– Central Intelligence Agency

– U.S. Department of Defense

– U.S. Department of Transportation

– U.S. Department of Homeland Security

– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

– San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

– Prince William County Service Authority, VA

– IBM Center for the Business of Government

– National Aeronautics and Space Administration

– U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

– And more…