About

Donna Lanclos was born in the desert. She thought very carefully about the names she wanted to give her children and they in turn have very carefully thought about the names they want now that they have a choice in the matter. This is something she should have anticipated, as her parents still call her “Michelle.” Donna has very little patience for bullshit, despite her American heritage. She is an anthropologist in all things and you really shouldn’t invite her to speak or write or work with you if you are unclear about what that means. Her love for shoes and cocktails has thus far not managed to get in the way of her work on leadership, academia, and digital and physical places and practices. She has lived on the prairies of North Dakota, the coast of California, and in the North Carolina foothills, as well as in the UK and Ireland. She is generally still happy to be here, wherever that is. You can find her at @DonnaLanclos on Twitter and also email her if you have specific things you want to talk about: donna.lanclos@gmail.com.  

Lawrie Phipps was born in a place that was red by night and black by day: a childhood amongst relics and the slag, waste and debris of an industrial wasteland, much of which has now been “saved” in a West-Midlands “Living Museum”. A veteran who has crossed both polar circles, he did an Environmental Science degree late in life, but instead of saving the planet accidentally became an Academic Developer. He spends some of his free time traveling at no more than 4 miles per hour on the canals he once played around (and sometimes in) when he was a child. He has worked across technology, education, research and leadership for over 30 years. Both an enthusiast and a sceptic he likes to play with ideas across technology and how it impacts on practice. He cannot not notice birds. His favourite phrase is “Slàinte Mhath”. He is harsh but fair. You can find him at @Lawrie on Twitter.

Donna and Lawrie have been arguing with each other since 2014, and the work they do on digital in higher and further education emerges from the places where they might happen to agree.  They cast a particular eye to recognizing, describing, and facilitating leadership in and across organizations regarding digital places, tools, and practices. They try in their approach to center human behavior and motivations, and to see and value current practices before working to help people figure out what else or more they might want to be doing.  They push back against (and curse and spit about) the idea that people’s age has anything to do with what they are or are not capable of, digitally or otherwise.  

Phipps and Lanclos presenting