Picture of Steven PembertonSteven Pemberton

Web expert & senior researcher

Senior researcher, CWI & W3C

Steven Pemberton is a senior researcher at the CWI, Amsterdam, the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science.

Steven has been involved with the Web from the beginning, organising two workshops at the first Web conference in 1994, and chairing the first Style Sheets Workshop in 1995.

He is Activity Lead of the HTML and Forms Activities at W3C, and co-chair of the XHTML2 Working Group. He is co-author of amongst others HTML, CSS, XHTML, XForms, XML Events and RDFa. He was once editor-in-chief of ACM/interactions.



Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the national research institute for mathematics and computer science in the Netherlands.

The mission of CWI is twofold:

  • to perform frontier research in mathematics and computer science
  • to transfer new knowledge in these fields to society in general and trade and industry in particular

CWI is funded for 70 percent by NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. The remaining 30 percent is obtained through national and international programmes and contract research commissioned by industry.

CWI manages the Benelux Office of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and hosts both the Semantic Web Activity Lead and the chair of the XHTML and XForms Working Group.

The institute's strategy for the period up to 2012 is to concentrate research on four broad, societally relevant themes:

  • Earth and life sciences
  • The data explosion
  • Societal logistics
  • Software as service


The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C's mission is:

To lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web.

W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines. Since 1994, W3C has published more than 110 such standards, called W3C Recommendations. W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software, and serves as an open forum for discussion about the Web. In order for the Web to reach its full potential, the most fundamental Web technologies must be compatible with one another and allow any hardware and software used to access the Web to work together. W3C refers to this goal as “Web interoperability.” By publishing open (non-proprietary) standards for Web languages and protocols, W3C seeks to avoid market fragmentation and thus Web fragmentation.

Steven Pemberton: Views and Feelings

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Wednesday, November 5th: 10.30 - 12.00

Track: Technology Standards

Never is a long time (Disruptive Technology and the Web)

In 1997 Clayton Christensen published a book "The Innovator's Dilemma" which made us look at the world in a completely new way and introduced the term "Disruptive Technology". All around us we can see disruptive technologies at work, displacing existing technologies; the Web itself is clearly a disruptive technology for several existing things.

But how about within the Web? Are there emerging technologies that demonstrate some of the properties of disruption, where we could expect at some time they will replace existing technologies?

This talk will discuss how to identify potentially disruptive technologies, and which web technologies may qualify.