GRC 2015: Digital Future

The 2015 U21 Graduate Research Conference was held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University from 9 to 12 June and was a great success. Forty representatives from 14 U21 members attended the conference.

The first day was spent doing some interesting ice-breaking activities, enabling the participants to get to know each other and create a friendly atmosphere for the more formal and demanding days ahead. Benqian Li, Dean of School of Media and Design at SJTU, also gave a welcome speech to the delegates.

The conference took place on Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Minhang campus. It took as its theme Digital Future and to help focus on this, six keynote speakers were invited to share their insights in this field.

Opening the conference, the first of three speakers was Professor Wenjun Zhang from Shanghai Jiao Tong University speaking on The Future of Broadcast Television in China. He was followed by Professor William H. Dutton from Michigan State University on Multistakeholder Internet Governance, and then Baris Gencel, CEO of GWANTSI and Chris Jones, Digital Creative of WPP Agency who delivered a talk on Augmented Emotions.

Later in the conference, Professor Terry Flew from Queensland University of Technology and Professor Monroe Price of the University of Pennsylvania both gave splendid lectures on Digital media law, Regulation and Governance: Public Policy and the Future of the Internet and Digital Futures: Changing Conceptions of Speech Regulation respectively.

Alongside the keynote addresses, 30 students orally presented their research findings and ten students shared their research through poster sessions. Students discussed their research, posed questions, sought solutions and took the opportunity to embrace this peer review and use it to enhance their work.

At the end of the conference, as has become custom, the three best oral and one best poster presentations were selected by all the attendees. The best oral presentation awards were given to:

  • Prasanna Sritharan, University of Melbourne
  • Prasanta Bhattacharya, National University of Singapore
  • Kathryn Ann Kaczmarek, University of Maryland

The best poster award went to:

  • Jochem Jansen, University of Amsterdam


Besides academic research and communication, field trips were arranged as part of the formal proceedings. The student delegates visited YOUZU.COM, one of the most renowned online game companies in China, and experienced the bund and Huangpu River Cruise, the most representative tourist attractions of Shanghai.