Digital Legacy Conference

The Digital Legacy Conference, Tues 5th October, 2021  (from 4pm UK time until 10PM) – PalliCovid & Exploring New Dimensions’

Our Founder, James Norris will co-chair the Digital Legacy Conference 2021 with Dr Ros Taylor MBE, Clinical Director at Michael Sobell Hospice and Harlington Hospice.

MyWishes design lead, Marcos Sebastian will also present a paper at the conference titled ‘Designing for death, evolving DeadSocial into MyWishes’. His paper can be read below:

Design is a hugely important element in which us humans are able to understand a charity or organisation’s goals. The design and branding can visualise both the service provided and values the organisation aligns itself to. When designing an end of life planning platform or service, it is difficult to highlight the multitude of different messages required. MyWishes objective was for the design to help install credibility, security, compassion and engagement in a non-morbid and accessible way.

In this seminar, MyWishes’ design journey will be used as a case study. Starting from its original ‘DeadSocial’ concept more than 10 years ago, this chronological journey will outline the design process and the different design iterations along the way. The seminar will conclude with exploring the current MyWishes design and the design principles behind it.

Explorations around design, user experience, colours and layout will take place. It is hoped that design principles and information shared will assist others developing other end of life resources both on and offline.

About the Digital Legacy Conference

The importance of our digital lives is increasing. Personal, digital photos and videos are often saved behind password protected devices. The monetary value of purchased media, online only services and digital assets is also increasing. Managing and transferring digital possessions and online services upon death is becoming fragmented and complex.

It is important that professionals are able to assist patients, families and those they serve with relevant support and advice. The Digital Legacy Association argue that ‘digital assets planning and digital legacy safeguarding should form a holistic approach to advance care planning’

The International Digital Legacy Conference 2021 will take place on the eve of the European Association of Palliative Care World Congress 2021 (EAPC 2021). This year’s Digital Legacy Conference will be streamed live and be featured as part of EAPC 2021. The live stream will be accessible for free with an EAPC ticket. For those who are not attending EAPC 2021, a Digital Legacy Conference ticket can be purchased for £20 when visiting the Digital Legacy Conference website or directly from this ticket link.

Dr Ros Taylor MBE and Professor Mark Taubert

Full Programme (UK time / BST)


  • 4:00pm: Welcome to the new world, a new world in which we all inhabit – Dr Ros Taylor MBE, Palliative Physician. Former Clinical Director at Hospice UK, Medical Director at Michael Sobell Hospice and Harlington Hospice. Trustee at Nightingale Hammerson Care Home & James Norris, Digital Legacy Association, MyWishes & Michael Sobell Hospice (UK)
  • 4:20pm: Why Nothing We Do Online Will Exist After We Die and That’s Ok. – Dr John Troyer, Bath University
  • 4:40pm: Life, death… Shouldn’t we talk about it with students? Issues arising from the creation of an online platform for the French medical and school staff – Nicolas El Haïk-Wagner & Caroline Tête, French Society for Palliative Care
  • 5:00pm: Netiquette for Dealing with Illness, Death, and Grief: Has COVID-19 impacted the rules? – Dr Carla Sofka, Siena College
  • 5:20pm: The posthumous privacy paradox: Privacy preferences and behavior regarding digital remains – Tal Morse, Hadassah Academic College & Michael Birnhack Tel Aviv University
  • 5:40pm: “They were part of the family” – a look at grieving for a pet online. – Stephanie Owens, Cochrane and Dying Matters
  • 6:00pm: Digital Executor®: Unraveling the New Path for Estate Planning – Sharon Hartung, Captain (Ret’d), PEng, TEP, is the founder of Your Digital Undertaker
  • 6:20pm: Digital afterlife and the spiritual realm – Maggi Savin-Baden, University of Worcester, UK
  • 6:40pm: Why creating a digital shrine for my Dad helped me with my grief. – Sandy Weatherburn, Social Embers
  • 7:00pm: Designing for death, evolving DeadSocial into MyWishes – Marcos Sebastian, MyWishes Design Lead
  • 7:20pm: Living beyond death; who cares? – Dr Erica Witkamp Professor Care for Family Caregiving, Faculty of Nursing and Research Center Innovations in Care, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Rob Bruntink, Journalist, Owner of Bureau MORBidee, The Netherlands & Judith Rietjens, Associate professor, Dept. of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center, The Netherlands
  • 7:40pm: Designing for Choice at the End of Life: does COVID-19 Shift our Collective Experience of Death Online? – Dr Stacey Pitsillides, Northumbria University
  • 8:00pm: Cryptocurrencies, Cryptoassets, and Inheritance Planning – Pamela Morgan, Empowered Law
  • 8:20pm: Palliative Pandemic and its Digital Divides – Professor Mark Taubert, Cardiff University
  • 8:40pm: Digital Legacy and the idea of life as a work of art – Steve Fuller, University of Warwick
  • 9:00pm: 2040: Death, bereavement and digital legacies – Maneesh Juneja, Digital Health Futurist (Keynote)
  • 9:40pm: Closing remarks –  Dr Ros Taylor MBE, Palliative Physician. Former Clinical Director at Hospice UK, Medical Director at Michael Sobell Hospice and Harlington Hospice. Trustee at Nightingale Hammerson Care Home & James Norris, Digital Legacy Association, MyWishes & Michael Sobell Hospice (UK)
  • 10:00pm: Close

Ticket information

The Digital Legacy Conference is a not for profit event run annually by the Digital Legacy Association. Previous conferences have taken place at UCL Partners (London), Sienna College (New York), EAPC (Berlin) and St Joseph’s Hospice (London). If you would like the Digital Legacy Conference 2022 to take place at your conference, congress, university, office or place of research please do get in touch 

The Digital Legacy Conference is a not for profit conference organised by the Digital Legacy Association.  It is able to take place each year due to the kind support provided by sponsors, supporters and volunteers. If you or your organisation is interested in sponsoring this year’s conference click here. This year’s venue partner is Michael Sobell Hospice in London, the event partner is the European Association of Palliative Care and supported by MyWishes 

The Digital Legacy Conference is free to attend for EAPC 2021 ticket holders. Alternatively tickets for the Digital Legacy Conference (and not EAPC) can be purchased for £20 by clicking here

Other news that might be of interest

Learn how to make plans for yourself and those you care about

MyWishes free to use software was developed under the guidance of healthcare, hospice, legal and funeral professionals. Our platforms empowers society to make plans for both themselves and those they care about.

Michael Sobell Hospice 
Palliative Care Department
Mount Vernon Hospital, Gate 3
Northwood HA6 2RN
United Kingdom

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