Biographies of Ren Reynolds and Žiga Turk
Ren is the founder of the Virtual Policy Network a think tank dedicated to promoting policy discourse about virtual worlds and social media.
Academically Ren writes about the philosophy / ethics of technology, computer games and virtual worlds. His work has included exploring the philosophical basis of property, governance, identity and rights in online spaces as well as the moral basis of virtual acts. He also writes on the TerraNova blog.
Ren is a member of the UK Transformational Government Expert Group on Social Media; the European Information and Network Security Agency virtual group on virtual worlds, Edinburgh Interactive Festival Committee; Virtual Worlds Forum Executive Board; Games Studies (journal) Review Board; London Knowledge Lab: Culture, learning and teaching in Second Life - Advisory Board Member and is co-founder of the Digital Interactive Symposium: Edinburgh. He is also a member of: Association of Internet Researches, Digital Games Research Association, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, International Game Developers Association, London Games Research Group, The Royal Television Society, The Institute of Directors.
Previously the global head of strategy for Internet, Mobile & Applications for Cable & Wireless Ren developed a Digital Media service portfolio. Ren has also consulted in marketing and product strategy / development for British Airways, BBC, Sky, Publicis; the UK Government and a number of virtual world start-up companies; and has written extensively for IBM on the business application of emerging technologies for strategic advantage.
Ren has numerous media credits including BBC, MTV; G4 TV; BBC Radio 4, Radio 5 and World Service, NY Public Radio, Radio Sweden, and has been interviewed by New Scientist, Popular Science, The Guardian and many others.
Žiga Turk is a Professor and Chair in Construction Informatics at the Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering at the University of Ljubljana. Born in 1962, he holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, M.Sc. in Computer Science and Ph.D. in technical sciences.
His academic interests include construction informatics (construction information technology), computer integrated construction, internet, Web and grid computing, design communication, philosophy of conceptual modeling and CAD/BIM. He wrote several papers on these subjects. He was partner in several EU projects since the 4th framework and coordinated two multi million euro ones.
He held graduate and undergraduate courses in Ljubljana, Istanbul, Zagreb, Stockholm and in a pan-European study of eConstruction. In 2010 he received an award for top cited article 2006-2010 in the Advanced Engineering Informatics Journal.After being a founding co-editor of the Journal of Information Technology in Construction, in 2010 he became the editor-in-chief.
In 2009 he was invited by the European Comission to serve in the Panel of External and Independent Experts that carried out an interim evaluation of Framework 7 Programme in the area of ICT. In 2010 he was invited to chair a High Level Group to recommend the future evolution of European academic networking.
In 2007 and 2008 dr. Turk was a Minister for growth in the government of Slovenia, national coordinator for the Lisbon Strategy, chief negotiator for the Slovenia's accession to the OECD, chairman of the national Sustainable Development Council and Chairman of the Competitiveness Council. His past activities outside of the academia include: Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Telekom Slovenia and Mobitel, member of the Reform Council, Vice Chair of the Strategic Council for Culture, Education and Science etc. From 2008-2010 he served as Secretary General of the Reflection Group on the Future of Europe, chaired by Felipe Gonzales.
During the Slovenian presidency to the EU in 2008, he was in charge of the updates to the Lisbon Strategy and involved in the management of the energy and climate change dossiers. His interest include creativity, entrepreneurship, open access to knowledge, open innovation, renewable energy, r&d policy etc.
Recently his research activities include the trends and scenarios of future global developments, particularly the role of information technology and innovation in those trends. He also studies the broader societal impacts of information technology. He is an internationally recognized public speaker, columnist and lecturer on these subjects.
In Slovenia he has been known as the founding editor of the Moj Mikro magazine (1984). He has been setting up Web servers since 1993. His most popular Internet inventions are the Virtual Shareware Library (taht later evolved into shareware.com) and the Woda database tool. He is an enthusiastic blogger and twitter.