In the course of the past 5 academic years, I’ve come to think that one of my favorite things that happens in our little world is the Summer Doctoral Program (or, Programme, as our friends at the Oxford Internet Institute, the OII). Three of the past five years it’s been in Oxford, where it was established by Bill Dutton and his team at the OII. Two years ago, it was in Beijing. This year, for the first time, it’s on American soil here at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School.
The SDP is for graduate students in Internet studies. The vast majority of students are ph.d. students. A few are lawyers, studying perhaps for a j.d. or an s.j.d. The 30+ members of the group are from many different places: this year’s group has every region of the world represented, I think. It’s a fun, interesting, serious two weeks of talking about our work, our areas of interest in future, our methodologies, and lots of other things.
It’s useful to me personally on many levels. I love to hear what 30+ ph.d. students are puzzling over. One of the big trends since 2003 has been the growth of projects related to web 2.0 and blogging and Wikipedia and so forth; the corresponding trend down has been the decrease in projects on copyright, DRM, and related concepts. Another big benefit is spending reflective time with these smart people as well as with my colleagues at OII (like Bill and Jonathan Zittrain), the University of St. Gallen (Urs Gasser and his team), and other guest faculty who join us (this year, a whole slew of Berkman fellows — Bill McGeveran and Dan Gillmor are already here; Henry Jenkins from MIT, and many other great people).