C&T 2017 – Technology for the Common Good
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The biennial Communities and Technologies (C&T) conference is the premier international forum for stimulating scholarly debate and disseminating research on the complex connections between communities – both physical and virtual – and information and communication technologies.
C&T 2017 welcomes participation from researchers, designers, educators, industry, and students from the many disciplines and perspectives bearing on the interaction between community and technology, including architecture, arts, business, design, economics, education, engineering, ergonomics, informatics, information technology, geography, health, humanities, law, media and communication studies, and social sciences. For the 2017 round of C&T, we welcome contributions that particularly pay attention on technology that can be deployed for the common good.
The conference program will include competitively selected, peer-reviewed papers and case studies, as well as pre-conference workshops, a doctoral consortium, and invited keynotes.
We look forward to welcoming you to an exciting conference in Troyes!
Myriam Lewkowicz, Markus Rohde
== IMPORTANT DATES
* February 1: Full papers, workshops and case studies due
* March 1: Notification of acceptance for workshops proposals
* April 1: Notification of acceptance for full papers and case studies
* April 20: Camera-ready for full papers, workshop descriptions and case studies due
* May 2: Workshop papers and Doctoral Consortium applications due
* June 26-30: Workshops and conference in Troyes, France
== CALL FOR PAPERS (FULL AND SHORT)
C&T focuses on the notion of communities as social entities comprised of people who share something in common; this common element may be geography, needs, goals, interests, practices, organizations, enemies, or other bases for social connection. Communities are considered to be a basic unit of social experience.
For the 2017 round of C&T, we welcome contributions that particularly pay attention on technology that can be deployed for the common good. This raises a number of questions, issues, and implications that might not be relevant in other computing related conferences. The common good generally means finding peaceful ways to resolve conflict, securing a more equitable society, a healthy and diverse environment for ourselves and future generations, and cultural diversity.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can support community formation and development by facilitating communication and coordination among members, as well as enable and empower communities to deal with challenges and threats. We must also acknowledge the possibility that ICTs could be used in processes that degrade communities or community life; some ICTs could actually be antithetical to healthy communities. In this case certain developments should at the very least be questioned, if not actively discouraged. For this reason we also encourage critiques of existing systems, approaches, policies, and trajectories— any of the factors that encourage private gain at the expense of the common good.
It’s not enough to assert that some particular technology will support the common good. Too often, in fact, the assumption is that a particular technological approach — if not the whole of ICT development — is steadfastly advancing towards a state of maximal support for the common good. What lines of argument can we develop that help support a case that a technological approach will support the common good — or wouldn’t? As researchers and academics we must entertain the possibility that our investigations may force us to revise some of our own approaches and assumptions, including rethinking who are the stakeholders of our work, and how our work should be evaluated.
Modeling and designing the world we’d like to see can provide invaluable insights. Beyond conducting research and developing tools, services, policy, and the like, we aim to build the circumstances that help promote this work and the orientation in the world. What systems can help encourage civic intelligence and public problem solving? How do we recognize systems that discourage them? Are certain approaches to design, deployment, etc. more likely to result in systems that support the common good? And, if so, where have these been used—and with what degree of success. This focus acknowledges the reality that technological systems exist within social environments and frameworks, policy proposals, and educational approaches may be extremely relevant.
Finally, how do we as a community identify our goals, gather our information, and report our findings as to help the communities upon whom we rely to use the information most effectively?
Topics appropriate for submission to this conference are manifold. And they may emerge from a variety of relevant perspectives including philosophy, social sciences, design, art, the humanities, etc. Examples of some of the vibrant areas of communities and technology research include, but are not limited to:
* Domains such as learning/education, health, cultural heritage; crises and natural disasters; environmental degradation and climate change;
* Variety of communities and their relationships to technology; urban and rural, migrants, refugees, indigenous and first peoples, LGBTQ, low-income communities, measuring impacts on communities —positive, negative, and mixed
* Bottom-up movements, grassroots developments, civic activism, community engagement, participatory publics, communities and innovation;
* Crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, collective and civic intelligence, community learning, early warning systems, collective awareness, collaborative awareness platforms; social cognition; community emotion; happiness; historical memory;
* Community owned and operated technology, DIY and maker communities (makerspaces, fablabs, crafters); community agriculture;
* Online and offline communities, urban and rural communities; urban technologies; urban informatics; urban interaction design; cross-community work; new forms of communities;
* Community memory, archives, and knowledge; resilience; smart communities in the context of smart cities; sustainable communities; economic and social development;
* Civic problem-solving, communities in relation to urgent and complex challenges to the health of the planet and the people that inhabit it; collaborative systems; partnering with education; government, civil society, and movements;
* Sharing economies; social media and social capital; associations, strong and weak ties, stakeholders;
* Methodological issues including research, action, participatory approaches, community-centred design, infrastructuring and evaluation methodologies; ethnographic and case studies of communities;
* Supporting community processes: sensemaking, online deliberation; argumentation and discussion-mapping; community ideation and idea management systems; collective decision-making; group memory; participatory sensory networks;
* Technological issues: community toolkits; federated systems; integration with other systems, integration with face-to-face systems;
* The future of communities and technology; simulations and utopian design; durable relationships and long-range goals; and
* Developing and supporting the Communities & Technologies community; social and technological critique; effectiveness and other measures
== CASE STUDIES
This year, C&T introduces a new category of submissions: Case Studies.
With this category, we encourage C&T researchers or practitioners to present a case study or an experience report of real-world cases projects that provide new insights and learnings to other C&T researchers and practitioners. In general, both kinds of research are welcome – more analytical (such as ethnographical case studies and historical analysis of case) as well as more action-oriented (such as design case studies, action research reports). In addition, methodological reflections about case study research are appreciated.
== What counts as a good case study research
Case studies should be inspiring, but should not be constrained by traditional academic expectations. The primary criteria is relevance in making a significant contribution to the community.
Successful case studies will meet the following criteria: they report on new work that derives in original insights, they have the potential for real impact on the C&T body of knowledge and practice, they report on very specific or singular communities or experiences.
They shed light into emerging and/or marginalized topics and address existing gaps in the broader C&T methods and understanding. Suggested topics of interest include, but are not restricted to:
* Technology design and use in the developing world and non-Western societies
* Research of a specific domain, user group, organisation or experience, discussing its rationale, any issues, and lessons learned
* Pilot studies preceding and informing larger-scale investigations
* Application, critique, or evolution of a method, process, theory, or tool
* Challenges to existing notions of Research, Design, Theory, and Practice
* Revisiting definitions of C&T practice
* The role of technology in civic activism, community engagement, participatory publics
* The role of technology in the context of the refugee and migrant crisis
* The role of technology in consumer empowerment (supply chain transparency, open data, etc.)
* Sharing and commoning practices (communities and the sharing economy and/or commons-based production)
Other more specific areas of interest:
* Uses and misuses of technology by communities
* New maker practices
* Technology in humanitarian crisis contexts
* Decentralisation and blockchain
* Gender and technology
* HCI teaching and learning in education, training, or knowledge sharing.
* ‘Big Ideas’ and how to make them happen
C&T Workshops will run for a half or one full day and will take place on June 26th or June 27th.
Workshops provide a platform to discuss, explore and advance specific research areas of Communities & Technologies with a group of like-minded researchers and practitioners. Each workshop should generate ideas that give the C&T community a new, innovative way of thinking about the topic, or ideas that suggest promising directions for future research. Topics addressed may include (but are not limited to) theories, methodologies, artifacts in practices, emerging application areas, design innovations, strategy and organizational issues pertaining to communities and technology.
While workshop summaries will be integrated into the conference proceedings published by ACM (pending), organizers can consider converting individual workshop papers into edited books or special issues of journals. Furthermore, there is the option of publishing the workshop submissions (all contributions) as an International Report on Socio-Informatics (IRSI): http://www.iisi.de/en/international-reports-on-socio-informatics-irsi/. You may consider including such publication goals in your workshop proposal.
A workshop proposal must be prepared according to ACM recommended templates and should be no more than 4 pages including references. Furthermore each proposal should:
* include the title of the workshop,
* list organizers and their backgrounds,
* provide workshop’s theme, goals and activities,
* indicate maximum number of participants,
* provide means of soliciting and selecting participants.