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Ian Cumming

Candidate Statement

Ian Cumming MBCS CITP : born Glasgow, Scotland, raised in England, living in Italy, a computer professional since 1986 (M.Sc, University of Kingston). Computing runs in the family, my brother and I work in IT, our father installed one of the first Mainframes in a British insurance company (1960s). I remember winning a BBC micro school prize, one of the first "pcs"! Nature or nurture? I am 45 and have been the Head of the ICT unit of a European Union agency since 2000 (

I have worked in the UK, Italy and briefly in the US on software development projects, including EU R&D (EDILIBE). My M.Sc. dissertation in Pascal compiler validation at the National Physical Laboratory provided an historical context (Alan Turing worked there). My interests in the human side of technologies married well my prior University (Archaeology, Anthropology and Prehistory). I have always been attracted to the social and ethical side of technologies. What it means to be technologically aware and at the same time human is my fascination, and one I notice moving increasingly into popular culture and science. This is coupled to the penetration of computing into all realms of our lives. We are now globally dependent on IT which offers solutions to our pressing problems. However at the same time it poses risks too. Wisdom is called for, but often time does not permit reflection and markets or politics exploit trends to their own ends. We do live in interesting times, will it be a curse or a blessing? Depends on us. My work as an EU public administrator involves providing infrastructures and services to experts working with EU neighbouring countries on human resource development. This includes managing and coaching several ICT-teams: systems, networks, support, development and infrastructures.

I am a certified IT professional and member of the British Computer Society (MBCS CITP), the London ELITE BCS section, and the local Director's IT club, Torino. I was one of the founders of the ICTAC network of EU agency managers in 2004, which now numbers over 40 European professionals in 15 countries! We meet physically every six months and virtually every day – a professional community indeed! I started to follow CPSR in my early career days. My concerns match well CPSR's.

My interests ?: Participatory Design, Social Networks, IT Professionalism (I participated in the UK BCS/Impact project on Competency Framework Development for CIOs). I am also interested in governance, intellectual property and freedom, collaboration & knowledge systems, human-machine interfaces, computers in the workplace.

My curiosity takes me often off into new areas. I would look to bring my European experience to CPSR and to further spread its work more globally and contribute to some specific projects as above. I would be interested in promoting further Italian/European events.
Finally as one of the trustees of a small family charity dealing with personal development I have a strong feeling that one should return some of what you have been fortunate to receive.

Created by hdihuyen
Last modified August 11, 2007 08:53 AM

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Why did you join CPSR?

I strongly support the work of CPSR in humanizing computer technology.