Digital futures at Oxford: Thought leadership sessions January 2022

Digital Futures at Oxford is a series of thought leadership sessions organised by IT Services. Leaders from industry and external organisations have been invited to share their views on the future direction of digital in higher education.

The Digital Futures series launched during December 2021 with three talks. If you missed these talks, recordings are available in the 'Related links' section on the right of this page. 

The series continues during January with more fascinating talks giving us food for thought about Oxford's digital future. These online lunchtime sessions will run on Microsoft Teams and are open to all members of Oxford University. Recordings will be made available.

The future of higher education (Amazon Web Services)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 200 fully featured services from data centres globally. They have millions of customers—including the fastest-growing start-ups, the largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—that are using AWS to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster.

At this session, Jude Sheeran, AWS Lead for Education, will be talking about his views on the future of higher education from an AWS perspective.

Date and time: Monday, 24 January 2022, 13:00-14:00

Presenter: Jude Sheeran, Amazon Web Services

Link to session: On the day please join the meeting on MS Teams

The student lifecycle and mixed reality in education (Microsoft)

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology corporation producing computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services.

Microsoft's best known products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface line up of touchscreen personal computers. It is considered one of the Big Five companies in the U.S. information technology industry, along with Amazon, Google (Alphabet), Apple, and Facebook (Meta).

At this session James Cooke and Alex Karim will share with us Microsoft’s views on the student lifecycle and the future directions of mixed reality in education.

Date and time: Tuesday, 25 January 2022, 13:00-14:00

Presenters: James Cooke and Alex Karim, Microsoft

Link to Session: On the day please join the meeting on MS Teams


Make your life easier with automation (Simpson Associates)

Business process automation refers to the use of technology to execute recurring tasks or processes in an organisation where manual effort can be replaced. It is done to minimize costs, increase efficiency, and streamline processes.

In today’s session, Andrew Edge from Simpson Associates, will be talking to us about how business processes can be transformed to make them more efficient using robotic process automation.

Date and time: Wednesday, 26 January 2022, 13:00-14:00

Presenter: Andrew Edge, Simpson Associates 

Link to Session: On the day please join the meeting on MS Teams

The Future of Data in Higher Education (Jisc)

JISC is the UK higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions. JISC champions the importance and potential of digital technologies for UK education and research and does three main things:

  1. Operates shared digital infrastructure and services
  2. Negotiates sector-wide deals with IT vendors and commercial publishers
  3. Provides trusted advice and practical assistance for universities, colleges and learning providers

At this session, Phil Richards, chief innovation officer for data analytics at Jisc, will be discussing how data standards are developing across government, and their impact on higher education.

Date and time: Thursday, 27 January 2022, 13:00-14:00

Presenter: Phil Richards, Jisc

Link to Session: On the day please join the meeting on MS Teams

Cybersecurity challenges and innovation at Oxford University 

At this session, Graham Ingram, Chief Information Security Officer at the University of Oxford will be sharing his views on the big cybersecurity challenges facing the University and how innovation can play a role to detect erroneous behaviours and prevent cyberattacks. He will share with us the innovative work that his team is leading using technology like machine learning to deter attacks.

Date and time: Tuesday, 1 February 2022, 13:00-14:00

Presenter: Graham Ingram, Chief Information Security Officer, University of Oxford

Link to Session: On the day please join the meeting on MS Teams


Gartner’s Emerging Trends in Higher Education 

Gartner, is an American technology research and consulting company. The company's products and services include research, executive programs, consulting, and conferences. Gartner's clients include large corporations, government agencies, technology companies, and the investment community. Its client base consists of over 12,000 organizations in over 100 countries and they have over 15,000 employees located in 100+ offices worldwide. One of Gartner specialisations is  benchmarking the digital performance of brands.

At this session, Toni Sheehan, Gartner Analyst, will be talking us through the emerging trends impacting higher education in the post-Covid world and their impact on digital transformation.

Date and time: Wednesday, 2 February 2022, 13:00-14:00

Presenter: Toni Sheehan, Gartner Analyst

Link to Session: On the day please join the meeting on MS Teams


We hope to see you at one or more of these exciting talks. If you need further information about any of the sessions, please contact