Alumnae Day 2016
The challenges and benefits of living in our digital age and sustainability were the main themes of this year’s York House Alumnae Day. The day started with a welcome from Head of School, Chantal Gionet, who introduced our keynote speaker, Dr. Robin Mansell ‘69.
Since 2001, Dr. Mansell has been a Professor of New Media and the Internet in the Department of Media and Communication at the London School of Economics and was the first woman to become Interim Deputy Director and Provost at LSE. She is internationally recognized for her work on the social, economic, and political issues arising from innovations in digital technologies and is a leading contributor to policy debates on the potential of and risks associated with the information society.
In her keynote address, “Data, Social Media and Society: Challenges and Risks,” Professor Robin Mansell started with a simple question: Can an increasingly data-driven society be governed effectively? A question that is crucial in the wake of the enormous growth in the use of social media that depend on algorithms and rely on the analysis of vast quantities of personal data.
Dr. Robin Mansell focused on our how the values of society today and our own personal values inform our daily online interactions. She also addressed the benefits and challenges to societies in which “big data” plays an increasingly central part.
Following her keynote address, Lisa (Greczmiel) Roberts ’82, President of the Alumnae Association, presented Robin with the YHS Alumnae Special Achiever Award for her many accomplishments and thanked her for her commitment to York House School. All proceeds from the sale of Robin’s book “Imagining the Internet, communication, innovation and governance” were donated to the Alumnae Scholarship. Read more about Robin here.
During the luncheon, everyone had a chance to connect, including the Class of 1981 who were celebrating their 35th anniversary. In the afternoon, our discussion panel featured Gurdeep Stephens ’91, GMO-free activist, Nicole Bridger ’99, eco-fashion designer and Kathy Wardle ’93, Green Buildings advocate. It was inspiring to hear about the career journeys of all three speakers and learn about what motivates them today. From what we eat and wear, to what we use on our skin, the conversation flowed. The overall consensus was that you can start small by switching to eco-friendly cleaning products, purchasing sustainable clothing, eating organic food, and looking for simple ways to make our homes more environmentally friendly. Small steps that all make a difference!
The day concluded in the Alumnae Gallery on the third floor of the Senior School with the opening reception for Sustainability in Design, an exhibit featuring art by three alumnae working in the fields of architecture, fashion, and furniture design. Angela Zhou ’07, Nicole Bridger ’99 and Lisa (Bentley) Turner ’81 each contributed pieces revealing aspects of the inspiration, planning, and evolution involved in sustainably designing and producing their creative work.