“Social Media Reconsidered” Symposium

19 March 2015

The “Social Media Reconsidered” Symposium is the fifth in a series of symposia articulating a comparative academic perspective between the UK and Morocco.

In partnership with the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge, the British Council, the Moroccan British Society, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) and the Cambridge Morocco Programme the Social Media Symposium will be held in Ifrane on 19 March 2015

Concept Note:

Social media is a field of growing importance in our understanding of contemporary society, and has in its various forms impacted how we communicate and how we conduct business and politics. One of the defining characteristics of social media is that users create, share and respond to each other’s information. Social media comprises websites that allow people to share news, videos and photographs, and music. It includes social networks (Facebook and LinkedIn), microblogging platforms (Twitter), media sharing sites (YouTube and Instagram), blogs and forums, wikis, and bookmarking sites (Stumbleupon and Delicious). With the proliferation of smart phones, tablets and other mobile platforms, social media is liable to grow even more ubiquitous as it continues to evolve at a speed that creates increasing risks, challenges and opportunities. Social media is nowadays of intense interest to academics, business, the public sector, educators, technology experts, and civil society activists. A growing corpus of research has addressed the impact of these platforms on politics, marketing, civic life, identity construction, and privacy.

In the context of the current global debates on internet governance, social media has triggered a number of critical concerns such as privacy, ownership and control, security, copyright and intellectual property. The main objective of this conference is to explore the role social media plays in affecting multiple aspects of our lives and our society. We are inviting researchers and practitioners with a wide range of interests to engage in discussions about the spectrum of current issues revolving around social media as well as implications for the future.

Symposium Programme

March 19, 2015

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 9:30 Opening
– Moroccan British Society
– Cambridge University
– British Council
– Al Akhawayn University

9:30-10:00 Keynote address:
“A Brief History of Social Media – from Berber Weavings to Twitter and Beyond”
Nathan Towne, Social Media Strategist, University of New England

10:00-11:30 Panel 1: Social Media, News and Politics
Moderator: Dr. Nizar Messari (to be confirmed)
– Mr. Rachid Jankari (Mor)
“The past, present and future of social media in Morocco”
– Ms. Sarah Zaaimi (UK)
“Internet & Crisis of Re-imagination of the Nation State in the Arab Region”
– Mr. Mahmoud Enayat (UK)
“Is Facebook a right platform for activism? A case study of Iran”
– Dr. Ella McPherson (UK)
“The Tension between Pluralism and Verification in Using Social Media Information for Human Rights Reporting”

11:30-11:45 Break

11:45-13:15 Panel 2: Social Media and Business
Moderator: Dr. Paul Anderson
– Mr. Anass Rahimi
“Social Media and Marketing”
– Mr. Kamal Reggad
“How to Leverage the Power of Social Media to generate Leads”
– Mr. Muhammad Karim (UK)
“The Challenges and Opportunities which Businesses find in Social Media.”

13:15–14:30 Lunch

14:30-16:00 Panel 3: The Future of Social Media
Moderator: Ms. Samar Mezghani
– Prof. Piet Kommers (Netherlands)
“Social Media as Catalyst in Learning Communities”
– Mr. Akram Benmbarek (Mor)
“The post-social media trends”
– Dr. Bouziane Zaid (Mor)
“Social Media and Privacy: Challenges for the Future”
– Dr. Paolo Gerbaudo (UK)
“Social Media and Youth Experience”

16:00-16:15 Break

16:15–16:45 Closing Ceremony
– Martin Rose (UK)
– Driss Ouaouicha (Mor)

19:00 Dinner

Symposium End