WWW2006 - Speakers line up for The New Economy theme day
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Speakers line up for The New Economy theme day

The 15th International World Wide Web Conference will launch its four innovative theme days with The New Economy on Tuesday 23rd May.

The opening day will have a strong business focus and will explore the impact of web-based innovation on advertising, publishing and the media as well as e-commerce and more traditional business models. Delegates are expected to include CIOs, IT directors and decision makers from the public and private sector.

The initial speaker line-up includes Egg founder Mike Harris, Tim Faircliff, general manager of Reuter's digital media business, and Dr Richard Smith, Chief Executive of UnitedHealth Europe and former editor of the BMJ.

A year ago Reuters, the world's largest international news source, announced plans to double the size of their media business by predominantly focusing on the Web. Tim Faircliff has been leading their efforts to deliver news over the Internet and has helped double their website audience. In his speech to WWW2006, he will explore the opportunities the Web has offered to the international news media and the challenges that lie ahead.

Faircliff joined Reuters from the Telegraph Group where he worked in a number of digital media roles, including general manager of Telegraph.co.uk. He is an active member of the online industry and on the boards of the Association of Online Publishers and the Digital Marketing Council.

Prior to joining the health services management group UnitedHealth Europe, Dr Richard Smith was editor of the British Medical Journal for 13 years and chief executive of the BMJ Publishing Group. During that time the BMJ became one of the first journals to embrace open publishing online. It reached out to another million readers a month and the group quadrupled in size.

Dr Smith has a long-standing interest in the ethical impact of the Web on science and is a highly vocal advocate of the need for transparency. He is a member of the board of the Public Library of Science, a non-profit organisation committed to making scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. At WWW2006 he will be discussing the issues surrounding open access and web publishing of scientific papers and editorial content.

Executive vice chairman Mike Harris, founded Egg Plc, one of the UK's leading Internet banks, in 1998. His background is in the telecommunications industry; he was CEO of Mercury Communications and launched the hugely successful on-line bank FirstDirect in 1988.

He has served on Government committees concerned with the transformation of public services and is a board member of The Club of Budapest, a think tank on the impact of the New Economy on society.

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