Invited Speakers

john-beckford-imageJohn Beckford, Beckford Consulting

John is a partner in Beckford Consulting, a Non-Executive Director of Fusion21 Ltd and Visiting Professor in the Dept of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London and in the Centre for Information Management at Loughborough University. He holds a PhD in Management Systems and Sciences from the University of Hull, is a Fellow of the Cybernetics Society, a Member of The Institute of Management Services, a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

John is author of ‘Quality’ (Routledge, 3rd Edition, 2010) and ‘The Intelligent Organisation’ (Routledge, 2015) and over 60 other papers and articles. He has undertaken a number of significant research projects considering the resilience and viability of the UK National Infrastructure on behalf of both government departments and infrastructure owners drawing on his expertise in applied systems thinking and has driven substantial innovation, change and research projects internationally with a wide variety of organisations in government, private and public sectors. His experience extends to national and local government, infrastructure systems, social housing, paper making, railways and ferries, banking, financial services, logistics, food production, steel production, chemicals, pharmaceutical research, property management, retail motor distribution, law, healthcare and tertiary education. Special areas of expertise include Systems Modelling, Information Strategy (Systems, Infrastructure and Applications), Decision Support Systems, Organisation, Performance Management and Quality. John frequently acts as mentor to key individuals to achieve optimum long‑term outcomes for the business and themselves.

John’s passion is for increasing the viability and effectiveness of the individuals and organisations with which he works. This passion is realised through the development of the theory of managerial cybernetics and application of management science and managerial cybernetics to the structures, processes, information systems and leadership behaviours of his clients.

An excellent communicator, John is analytically rigorous and challenging. Further information about John can be found at: and


danny-budzakDanny Budzak, London Legacy Development Corporation

Danny has been working with digital technologies for over 25 years. He began during the pre-history of the internet when he built community databases in libraries using videotext running on Unix. He was one of the first local authority web editors and won a New Statesman New Media Award for an online local democracy project. He was a founder member of Newham Online, an innovative and integrated web and people project in east London.

He has specialised in developing information architectures, including the classification used by many public sector websites, metadata and creating information systems which people can actually understand and use.

As part of his work with e-Government Local Standards Body he developed an information governance toolkit and worked on a number of research projects with Newcastle University on how organisations were managing information governance at a practical level.

His interests are in how people appropriate technologies, and what the social and cultural impact of them are. He has a quantum approach to all of this and is both a technophobe and technophile at the same time, and remains fascinated and infuriated by technologies and information systems in equal measure.

However, he is intrigued by the development of big data, smart data and the internet of things, but wonders how one opts out of them. In his spare time he reads a lot of books, always paper, with hardback covers, and has recently become involved in a project to record medieval graffiti in churches.


Christine Borgman, University of California (UCLA)christine-borgman

Christine’s research and teaching span information retrieval, human-computer interaction,  information seeking and use, scholarly communication, and bibliometrics. Since the latter 1990s, these themes have converged in the study of data and data practices, exploring how observations, models, artefacts, and software become data; how these practices vary by individual and by discipline; and how these findings can be employed in the design of data collection, data management, data archiving, and science policy. To find out more about Christine, click here.


Andrew Jack, Financial Timesandrew-jack-photo2

Andrew Jack has worked as a journalist for the Financial Times since 1990. He runs the curated content team which picks the best news and analysis from the FT and the rest of the web. He was previously deputy editor of the analysis section, pharmaceuticals correspondent, Moscow bureau chief, Paris correspondent, financial correspondent, general reporter and corporate reporter. He is author of the books Inside Putin’s Russia and The French Exception as well as numerous specialist reports, written for the BMJ and the Lancet, and been interviewed on the BBC and other media outlets.


Stewart Robinson, Loughborough Universitystewart-robinson

Stewart is Professor of Management Science and Acting Dean in the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University. Previously employed in simulation consultancy, he supported the use of simulation in companies throughout Europe and the rest of the world. He is author/co-author of six books on simulation. His research focuses on the practice of simulation model development and use. Key areas of interest are conceptual modelling, model validation, output analysis and alternative simulation methods (discrete-event, system dynamics and agent based). Professor Robinson is co-founder of the Journal of Simulation and President of the Operational Research Society. Home page:


PTN-D1336 Neil Stansfield Photo PortraitNeil Stansfield, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory

Neil is Head of the Knowledge, Innovations and Futures Enterprise, leading the Ministry of Defence strategy and programme for identifying and harnessing emerging and disruptive technologies. Working across the National Security Enterprise and wider HMG, setting National strategy for understanding the implications of emerging technologies on UK defence and security and driving leading innovation programmes to exploit technology for defence advantage and wealth creation.

Prior to this, Neil has spent twenty five years in a range of senior defence and
security policy, strategy, and science and technology roles, working across Government and the private sector, nationally and internationally. Areas of responsibility have included chemical and biological defence, arms control, ballistic missile defence, MoD’s maritime S&T programme, and as Deputy Director in the Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism

In 2007 Neil had the privilege of spending a year at the Royal College of Defence Studies, MoD’s most senior leadership development programme.

Neil is married to Karen, with four children and a menagerie of pets including twelve stone dogs. Neil is a passionate follower of Welsh Rugby and an amateur player of contract bridge.