We are really pleased to announce the launch  of the IWMW 2020 Advisory Group, who will be helping to organise the event at which will be held at the University of Dundee from 30 June to  2 July 2020.

The event wouldn’t be as successful as it is without the Advisory Group – so we thought we’d take this chance to explain more about what the advisory group is, and why it’s so important.


The IWMW event was founded in 1997, organised by UKOLN (a Jisc Innovation Support Centre), and funded by Jisc until 2013. Following the cessation of Jisc funding and the subsequent closure of UKOLN, the event was relaunched by UK Web Focus, a consultancy set up by Brian Kelly, the IWMW founder. 

The relaunch provided an opportunity to ensure that the event became more directly related to the needs of those with responsibilities for managing institutional web and digital services across the UK’s higher education sector.

To address this, we launched an event advisory group for IWMW 2015 to help with planning and organisation of the event’s content and format.

Importance of diversity

The advisory group’s purpose is to provide representation of the UK’s wider HE web team workforce, including diversity of institution, experience and individual characteristics. 

Diversity and inclusion aren’t just lip service. They’re vital principles for fostering a skilled, thriving workforce. We believe anyone has the potential to succeed in their chosen area, regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, age, socioeconomic status, or any other such diversity characteristic. Talent doesn’t discriminate, and this is true for students across HE institutions as well as employees. If we want to best serve our students, we need to make sure our professional sphere reflects their diverse needs and experiences. 

Since 2015 we’ve sought to ensure that members of the advisory group include a significant number of women; represent a range of higher educational institutions; and included new members every year.

Breakdown of past membership

In order to check how well we’re doing, we keep a record of certain aspects of the advisory group membership, which is summarised in the following table:

No. of AG members612109111260 members / 33 individuals
M / F4/210/29/16/35/68/442/18
No. of institutions510877823 (different institutions)
No. of new members92475

Learning from experience, making way for new insights

We try to ensure that we have some continuity in membership, so we’re able to make use of the expertise advisory group members have gained.

We’ve also tried to recruit members from a wide range of institutions, which is a marked departure from the early days of IWMW events when many were based at Russell Group universities.

Since 2015 advisory group members have been based at no fewer than 23 institutions, with this year seeing 3 institutions (the universities of Brunel, Derby and Middlesex) providing members for the first time. There have been a total of 33 individuals who have been Advisory Group members over this period. 

Innovations which have been introduced thanks to suggestions from Advisory group members include:

  • Lightning and short talks.
  • Lean coffee sessions
  • Use of the Sli.do feedback tool.
  • Official event sketcher.
  • Fun run.
  • Photo scavenger hunt.
  • T-shirts to help identify Advisory Group members.

Meet the IWMW 2020 Advisory Group

Biographical details of members of the IWMW 2020 advisory group are available on the IWMW 2020 website. In brief the members are:

  • Brian Kelly, IWMW founder and co-chair of the IWMW 2020 event and advisory group.
  • Claire Gibbons, co-chair of the IWMW 2020 event and advisory group.
  • Andrew Millar, University of Dundee. Contact for local issues at the University of Dundee. AG member for 2016-2018 and 2020.
  • Rob Ryder-Richardson, University of Dundee. Contact for local issues at the University of Dundee. AG member for 2019 and 2020.
  • Lauren Tormey, University of Edinburgh. AG member for 2019 and 2020.
  • Gemma Wilks, University of Nottingham. AG member for 2019 and 2020.
  • Chris Lomas, Edge Hill University. First time AG member.
  • Robert Fowles, University of Derby. First time AG member.
  • Peter Briers, University of Derby. First time AG member.
  • Duncan Ireland, University of the Highlands and Islands. AG member for 2016 and 2020.
  • Swéta Rana, Middlesex University. First time AG member.
  • Danny Rozario, Brunel University. First time AG member.

Going forward

We really believe we’re doing good work to encourage a more diverse advisory group, and are always building on our lessons learned every year. However, we know there’s still work to do. If you have any suggestions or comments on future steps we could take, please let us know.