I went to the Science Museum after hours last week not only to enjoy the large amount of free (and very good) white wine on offer, but to learn a little bit more about the term 'Smart Data' and the implications of keeping our data secure.
A 'quiet revolution' of people from all fields of industry and research gathered for an evening of discussion - which at times got rather heated - concerning solutions and suggestions to liberate the data that we all produce. Mostly, what was being opposed is the dominance of private information storage hubs (prime example: Google) which take the information we create (through use of the internet, our smartphones, etc) and use it for their own strategical benefit. A major change in attitude towards openness and privacy might offer us the potential to realise that innovation isn't with the holder of the data, but that the value of this information is found away from these large corporations.Thinkers and artists can provide new - and more 'cultural' - approaches to interpreting such big data; releasing this information can let more people 'get smart' and consider new ways to combat serious world issues.By fragmenting data into a distributive system of many small domains, we not only have a lot less to loose should something be hacked/corrupted, but we offer all kinds of 'non-tech' people he chance to use the tools and structures in place.
I also got the chance to have a look at the new 3D printing exhibition with no-one else around, which was great since some of our 3D Pritnshow team had helped do some printed at the PR exhibition opening the day before.
I was most excited by the trend I am seeing in acknowledging that culturally-educated/trained/interested individuals are slowly being given more opportunity to exchange with issues of Digital Humanities within a technological context. 'Big Data' is a vague and complicated term, but in my opinion can only be understood through a collaboration between people of different disciplines - rather than leaving everything to the (often) narrow-minded technologists as we have for the last nine or ten years.
I really hope to find my place amongst this movement.