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ARA London Conference 2016 - Conference keynotes will they be challenging you?

on Wednesday, 27 July 2016.

Weighing up whether to attend the ARA Annual Conference at Wembley from 31 August to 2 September? You've no doubt seen some of the innovations this year, such as a fully dedicated digital archives and preservation stream, plus the expanded information village, where we will be joined by representatives from sectoral bodies; a ll designed to fit the 'Global Futures' theme, as we face ever-increasing pressures to adapt to new financial and market realities. The Conference committee and its partners have again worked overtime to keep delegate costs as low as possible. Pound for pound (or Euro for Euro), the ARA Conference offers better value than all other comparable bodies in the sector. And we will again be subsidising the headline costs in 2016 through our conference sponsorship programmes.

This year, the Conference organising committee has also shifted the focus of its keynote speaker slots. ln 2016 we have invited leaders in the front-line - or at the frontier-of tackling major challenges facing our sector, people whose experience and drive will inspire you and offer practical answers to problems that you may also be grappling with. These will be frank and· very likely· provocative talks. Don't come expecting a string of feel good cliches or platitudes.

Our keynote speaker on the opening day, 31 August is Colin Prescod. Having worked in archives and heritage for around fifteen years, Colin is currently Chair of the Institute of Race Relations in the UK (www.irr.org.uk/about/management/). He has been involved for a long time with the Huntley Archives project at London Metropolitan Archives (one of LMA's most significant collections from the African Caribbean community). Colin will explore 'the global in the local', how the most local or smallest archive have disproportionate emotional impact and power in minority or displaced communities. He will take you out of your comfort zone and expose you to different ways of thinking about your collections and deposits, along with how you manage diversity and minority outreach.

On 1 September, our main speaker is Tina Staples. Tina is Global Head of Archives at banking giant HSBC Pic (www. hsbc.com/about·hsbc/company·history) and at the forefront of issues affecting archivists and records managers across the corporate sector, most notably data and digital preservation. She will discuss an issue that cuts across the public, private and voluntary sectors: 'Big Data in a Connected World: Friend or Foe?' Now fifty years into the so-called Computer Age, we face unprecedented data volumes. We have created more data since 2014 than in all human history up to then. One trillion photographs alone were captured in 2015, with billions shared online. By 2020,1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second, for every person alive. Tina will explore if we -as a profession are even close to keeping pace and our future role now that every global citizen is preserving a mind-boggling range of born-digital records, and disseminating data and assets to ever-growing global audiences. In her view, professional record-keepers are key to meeting the challenge, but we need to persuade senior managers of this and take the lead in shaping a new kind of records and archiving culture.

On 2 September, Anthea Case, CBE delivers our final keynote. Since 2005, Anthea has been Principal Adviser to the Arcadia Fund, a UK based grant-making foundation, which supports endangered nature and culture (www.arcadiafund.org.uk). Anthea currently chairs Arcadia's International Panel, which advises its Endangered Archive Programme (run by the British Library). From 1995 to 2003, Anthea was CEO of the UK's Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund and, until 2010, Chair of the Heritage Alliance. She currently serves on the boards of a number of arts and heritage organisations. As well as updating us on the latest global view on grant-giving, Anthea will focus on front-line challenges facing the preservation and conservation community, notably the future of endangered cultural knowledge in non-western countries. As many members think about (or re-evaluate) their organisations' strategy for engaging with funding bodies, this is an opportunity to hear (and learn) from one of the leading thinkers and practitioners.

Don't delay,sign up now at www.archives.org.uk /ara·ina·ction/the ara·conference.html

John Chambers, ARA CEO

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