Monday 10 November

Welcome to digifest!

digifest is a celebration of all things digital at UCL. All events are free of charge, but only UCL staff and students and digifest partners may attend.

Registration is required for almost all events – please click on the links below to register.

The themes for Monday are:
Activism | Politics | Ethics | Citizenship | Privacy | Security

1-2pm: Data and a Dangerous Idea
What is Data, Data Science, and Data-Driven Decision Making? We will look at why is data important, and how can it be harnessed by people to help society. Data for both positive and negative use and its ethical challenges are also some of the topics to be addressed in this session.
Session led by: Dr Daniel Hulme

1-2pm: Open Data
This one hour workshop will introduce you to the legal, social and technical aspects of open data. The session will focus in open government data to support active citizens in understanding how tax payers money is spent by central and local governments, aiming to support the development transparency policies and legislations by showcasing examples of good practices in the use of open data and to demonstrate how citizens and organisations can enable universal and active participation in politics and community projects.
Session led by: Javiera Atenas

4.15-6pm: FILM: We are Legion – The Story of the Hacktivists
Film showing (bring your own popcorn)

6-6.30pm: The Chills and Thrills of Whole Genome Sequencing
In recent years, Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) evolved from a futuristic-sounding research project to an increasingly affordable technology for determining complete genome sequences of complex organisms, including humans. In this talk, after summarizing recent advances in genomics, we discuss some important privacy issues associated with human genomic information and identify a number of particularly relevant research challenges.
Session led by: Dr Emiliano de Cristofaro

6-7.30pm: Bitcoin Digital Currency for Beginners
Bitcoin is a peer to peer payment system which allows people to send money directly to each other without borders and without any intermediaries such as banks. During this session we will explain the basics of the digital currency revolution, explain how it works, explain the cryptography behind it, and help the students to get started with bitcoin on their laptops and mobile phones.
Session led by: Dr Nicolas T. Courtois
Important Info: BYOD – Bring Your Own Device: It would be helpful if people could bring a laptop or tablet so they can take part.

6.30-9pm: FILM: The Internet’s Own Boy
The Internet’s Own Boy follows the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.

6.30-7.30pm: Open Access 101: The future of publishing research?
In this session we’ll get you up to speed with Open Access, the implications for research in the UK and answer your burning questions on the topic.
Session led by: Joseph Mcarthur

7.30-8.30pm: How to make change in the issues you care about – Advocacy and Campaigns explained.
We all have issues we care about, but many of us lack the skillset to affect them. In this session you’ll get just a taste of how to change things.
Session led by: Joseph Mcarthur

If you have any mobility or other requirements to access any of these sessions, please contact us at


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