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SMART spaces by and for SMART people: technology as a scaffold to support innovative, independent living for ALL

When Sep 11, 2012
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where JCR
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Keynote Presentation: Professor Lizbeth Goodman


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Professor Lizbeth Goodman (BA, MA, MLitt, PhD) is Chair of Creative Technology Innovation and Professor of Inclusive Design at University College Dublin, where she is an Executive Board member leading the Creative and Social Entrepreneurship modules for the all-Ireland Innovation Academy.  She was elected to Chair the Social Sciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy in 2012.

Lizbeth founded the first iteration of the SMARTlab in 1993 (as practice-based research centre at the BBC-Open University) and has developed and directed its world renowned practice-based PhD Programme since the early nineties. She also co-designed and directed the MAGIC Multimedia and Games Innovation Centre and Gamelab in East London, with industry collaborators as a prime knowledge transfer space for clinical trials with ‘extreme users’ engaged in participatory design projects for communication and education. SMARTlab’s new European main academic base is now evolving in bespoke studios at UCD, whilst sister studios are also opening in Seattle at the Center for Serious Play of the University of Washington, and in Toronto at the Ontario College of Art and Design’s Inclusive Design Research Centre, with other high level international research sites due to come on stream soon in New York, Singapore, et al.

Originally trained in performance and philosophy and known as a professional theatre director/scholar and dancer, Lizbeth has evolved her career to focus on technologies enabling creative expression. She is now regarded as a leading expert on special needs education and lifelong learning: inventing new interfaces and learning models using creative tools and creative engagement strategies to address the different learning styles of all learners, with all levels of intellectual and physical ability, across cultures and languages.

She and her teams specialise in developing ground-up technology solutions for people of all levels of cognitive and physical ability, from mainstream learners of all ages to ‘special’ and ‘gifted’ learners and lifelong learners in the developed and developing worlds. In all her work, she applies a universal design method to practice-based innovation to transform lives through providing unlimited access to education and tools for creative expression. She is known as an expert in Digital Inclusion, including learning models for communities at risk. She is an award-winning advocate of community-based ethical learning and teaching models using interactive tools and games to inspire and engage learners of all ages. She specialises in working with people who do not have physical voices (whether due to disability, injury, illiteracy, or other social/political factors), enabling the use of new creative technologies for expression vocally, in writing, and with movement and music.

Prior to joining UCD, Lizbeth served on secondment as Director of Research for Futurelab Education, working with David Puttnam’s team to establish innovative platforms for the future of education in a context of global change.  From her early career training in Literature, Drama and Philosophy, she became active for many years as a professional performer (in theatre, dance, live art and broadcast media) and TV-radio-convergent media researcher/presenter with BBC Interactive Media/Education and the Open University. She has published widely in the areas of Digital Inclusion, performance technologies, e-learning, connected learning, embodied learning, social networking for community engagement, social entrepreneurship models in ICT, and games for learning. In this regard, she co-developed several groundbreaking teaching and learning tools and games with significant take up worldwide, which have led to the foundation of several international charities for women and children at risk.

She has written and edited 13 books and many peer-reviewed articles and broadcasts. She also founded and directs the award winning Practice-based PhD Programme in Creative Technology Innovation, which has graduated 38 successful PhDs to date and currently supports another 35 PhD candidates worldwide in the fields of Digital Media, ICT4d, Assistive Technologies for People with Disabilities and the Elderly, Technology Futures, Wearables and SMART Textiles, Performance Technologies, Assistive Tech and Innovations, Technology Enhanced Learning for Health and Well Being, Digital Inclusion, Haptic and HCI integrated studies, and what Lizbeth calls ‘Meaningful Games’ or Mobile Games for Learning.

For seven years, Lizbeth has worked closely with Microsoft Community Affairs as Senior Researcher on the large scale Club Tech project in the USA- which has reached nearly 7 million of the most disadvantaged children and young people worldwide; that project is now being reconceptualised for roll out in a new format in Europe and the EMEA regions. She is also Honourary International Research Advisor for RITSEC in Cairo, and has made several advisory site visits in the past few years to advise on emerging technology solutions for learners with disabilities in Doha (in consultation with ICT Qatar). While in London, she managed a suite of legacy projects in Multimedia and Multimodal Interfaces for NESTA, as well as providing ongoing mentorship for some of their Dreamtime Fellows.

In the not-for-profit sector, she is founder and President of the (SafetyNET): a charity active internationally in the fight to help stop violence against women and children, and of the Trust and Interfaces organisations to make games for children in hospital and persistent care, and for people with severe physical disabilities but unlimited imaginations. She is also an active board member of SpecialEffect: an Oxford-based charity making learning games for young people with special needs.

She sits on many national and international task forces and judging/assessment panels for local and international governments, for the UK Government, the European Commission (Digital Culture, Future Emerging Tech and Safer Internet Programmes), the Canadian Innovation Fund, the Wellcome Trust, the British Council, The World Summit for Innovation, Creative Capital, BBC Research, UNESCO, the IEEE VRSM panel, et al. She is also a Leonardo advisor for the Science Gallery. For the Wellcome Trust, she was a panel member for the Science on Stage and Screen Awards for several years before becoming Chair of judges for the SciArt competitions. She has also chaired judging panels for the Arts Council, Futurelab and NESTA, and for the Canadian Innovation Fund and BBC Multimedia Labs. She is currently chair of Judges for the European Commission’s HERA programme in Cultural Encounters.

She is one of the UCD co-PIs of the new (six million euro) national Centre for Innovative Learning (funded by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA with industry partners). She also directs the SMART-LIFElab Project with the National Children’s Research Centre in partnership with Dublin’s three children’s hospitals, and has in the past run many major funded projects for the EC, BBC, Futurelab, Microsoft, Nokia INDT, Lego Europe, The Carl Sagan Trust, The Children’s Health Fund NY, the Leverhulme Trust, the Esmee Fairbairn Trust, NESTA, JISC, NTU, NIE, Becta, DCSF et al.

She won the Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Service to Women and Children in 2003, and has had her technology-performance work for inclusion featured as Best Practice showcase winners at several World Summits since 2003. She is currently nominated for an award from the World Summit of Innovation in Education for her work with collaborator Dr Mick Donegan, on the use of eye control to enable people with no voluntary physical movement to dance, speak, sing and play music.

In 2008, she was awarded the top prizes for Best Woman in the Academic and Public Sectors, and Outstanding Woman in Technology, by Blackberry Rim and their international industry judging panels.

You can find out more about Lizbeth and her team at the following URLs: