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University of Oxford Launches Online Community Aimed at Global Problem Solving

The Said Business School at the University of Oxford has launched an online community for students, faculty, and alumni called Global Threats and Opportunities: Oxford (GOTO), connecting the business school with researchers and faculty across the university to examine one global issue per year.

The 2013 GOTO focus is the "Population 21 Challenge," which will focus community discussion on the implications of the world's changing demographics in hopes of driving new business ideas.

"GOTO creates and enables an online community that supports learning, discovery, and problem solving," said Peter Tufano, the Peter Moores Dean at Said Business School, in a release. "Global Opportunities & Threats: Oxford is an integral element of the MBA course, a commitment to lifelong learning for alumni, and a flagship School initiative."

Acquia was chosen to manage the project, and was joined by Drupal Web development company Pronovix and design firm One for collaboration.

Sue Rogers, IT director at Said Business School, said that the school's IT operations principles of open architecture and established affinity for open source software led it to choose Drupal as its content management systems platform for GOTO, along with the "agility, accessibility, responsiveness, and Web-based modules," of the open source platform.

"We sought to identify a common platform that that could be used for current, new, and future Web projects with the flexibility to respond to changes in technology and educational delivery systems," Rogers said of the decision.

In its current pilot phase, "GOTO is open to students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the Said Business School" and to others at the University of Oxford. According to a release, the school plans "on expanding the GOTO community to include other academic institutions later this year."

About the Author

Kevin Hudson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at sportswryter@yahoo.com.

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