Hot Seat: Dr Sophia Drakopoulou | UniHub
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    Hot Seat: Dr Sophia Drakopoulou

    05/05/2015

    What is your involvement with Cyber salon?

    I'm one of the co-founders of Cybersalon. Cybersalon gave me my first opportunities to start off in London's cultural and creative industries sectors. I gave my first talk to a live audience at the ICA theatre in June 2001, shortly after my graduation from my BA, and in 2002 I curated a retrospective exhibition of work from the MA in Hypermedia Studies and learnt an awful lot from the process.

    What is Cyber Salon? What is the aim of the organisation?

    Cybersalon is a monthly cutting edge and networking event, free to MDX students and staff in the centre of London (Brick lane).

    In Cybersalon events we aim to include arguments surrounding digital creativity from as many points of view as possible and always include approaches from the technical, academic, creative and collaborative sides. We don't like our speakers to agree with each other. We present conflicting views in order to create a passionate debate in the subjects we present. The audience can comment online and their comments are instantly displayed on the screen sitting behind the panel of speakers.

    Why should people attend?

    The events are a good opportunity to meet new people, hang out with friends, and be informed about the latest discourses surrounding digital practice, creativity and critical discourse. Our speakers include people who are at the forefront of research or creative work or technical solutions on their respective fields….sometimes we have free pizza!

    What were your career interests as a child?

    In an age ascending order: I wanted to work side by side with Lucky Luke (a Belgian comics series) , then I wanted to be a stuntman for James Bond films, then I wanted (and still trying to) become a famous writer such as Umberto Eco and of course I wanted to be a teacher.

    What's your favourite type of food?

    A healthy green or orange smoothie and of course Greek moussaka. I'm perfectly happy with a slice of pizza too.

    Tell us about the Letter of November 2014. What is the effect this will have?

    In the 90s we experienced the internet as a collaborative place and a creative space. As corporations are populating the internet more and more - increasingly the platforms and interfaces we use are driven by profit making aims. We are concerned that the 'Global Village' is becoming a corporate space of consumption - robbing users from some of the freedoms we experienced in the 90s.  We outlined these and other concerns in our letter.

    The letter caught the attention of MPs who invited us to run an event at the Houses of Parliament on the 23rd of March, talk about our letter and also comment on the recent reports for the House of Lords and the government on the UK's digital future.

    We are now in the process of drafting a Digital Citizen Bill of Rights that we will present to the Parliament for debate in September. We are about the launch a freeware participation online tool for people to share their thoughts and ideas. So please visit Cybersalon.org to get updates and be informed on ways you can get involved with our project. 

    What kind of shoe best describes you?

    A ballet shoe. Because it is elegant, very comfortable to wear, robust, has a timeless design and requires skill and craftsmanship to make it.

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