[Air-l] CfP Designing for Civil Society Workshop

Walker, Steve [IES] S.Walker at lmu.ac.uk
Thu Jun 12 07:24:05 PDT 2003


CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
DESIGNING FOR CIVIL SOCIETY 
WORKSHOP AT HCI 2003
MONDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER 2003, UNIVERSITY OF BATH, UK

Andy Dearden
Computing Research Centre
Sheffield Hallam University 
Sheffield UK, S1 1WB
 Tel: +44 114 225 2916
Fax: +44 114 225 3161
email: a.m.dearden at shu.ac.uk

Steve Walker
School of Information Management
Leeds Metropolitan University
Beckett Park, Leeds, LS6 3QS
Tel: +44 113 283 7448
Fax: +44 113 283 7599
email: s.walker at lmu.ac.uk
 
 
1. INTRODUCTION

This workshop will bring together campaigners, practitioners and 
researchers to examine the use of technology by the organisations 
of civil society, such as trade unions, NGOs, campaign groups and 
charities. The workshop will explore how existing knowledge of 
Human Computer Interaction (HCI), in its broadest senses, can be 
applied by such groups, and what questions such groups pose for 
our emerging understanding of HCI. 

We invite submissions from practitioners, designers, campaign 
organisers, activists and researchers who are:

* involved in designing for, or supporting NGOs, trade-unions, 
community, campaigning or voluntary groups;
* concerned with the relationship between 'the network society', 
democracy and the capabilities of socially excluded groups and 
people in developing countries;
* interested in understanding the impact of electronically mediated 
communication on the development of civil society.

If you are interested in participating, please email an expression 
of interest to the organisers (at s.walker at lmu.ac.uk) by July 4th. 
Participants will be asked to submit a 1-4 page statement which may 
take the form of:

- case studies of design experiences (successful or unsuccessful) or 
innovative applications and campaigns;
- discussions or examples of current issues and challenges;
- position papers on development or evaluation methods
- discussions of the relation between on- and offline organising;
- relevant personal experiences.

Statements should include a short paragraph detailing relevant 
personal experience.

2. IMPORTANT DATES

* Expressions of interest - 4th July 2003
* Position papers/statements - 14th July
* Notification of acceptance - 17th July
* Workshop - 8th September 2003, at HCI 2003 University of Bath

3. WHY A WORKSHOP

The development of the internet has opened up many opportunities 
for a range of progressive social movements and organisations. 
Groups promoting (for example) women's rights, human rights, 
disability rights, community development, third world development, 
industrial democracy and more recently anti-globalisation and 
global justice groups are all developing ways of using technology 
to further social ends, as have others with less desirable ends 
such as hate groups and a variety of cults. 

The use and development of information systems amongst these groups 
raise both practical and theoretical challenges for HCI and related 
disciplines. We know that social and organisational context are 
critical in designing appropriate technology. Therefore, methods 
developed for the needs of commercial organisations may not be 
appropriate to support socially-oriented organisations in their 
use of information and communication technology. Indeed, such 
methods may be antithetical to their values. Many social 
organisations may want to develop and apply design methodologies 
which more closely reflect their own values. 

The needs of such social movements differ from industrial 
applications of HCI because they:

* rely heavily on the work of volunteers who are not professionally 
trained in their area of work;
* may involve groups of individuals who are very widely distributed 
with limited opportunities for face-to-face communication;
* exhibit complex interwoven value systems beyond commercial profit 
and 'efficiency';
* typically suffer from extreme shortages of resources;
* may be engaged in conflict with other social actors;
* often aim to reach individuals with limited access to information 
and communication technology (e.g. in developing countries, in 
disadvantaged areas of the developed world, or people with disabilities 
or suffering other forms of social exclusion).

4. THE AIMS OF THE WORKSHOP

This workshop posits a number of key questions for practitioners and 
researchers, including but not limited to:

* How can we design systems to enable and encourage fair access and 
participatory democracy in a world of computer mediated communication 
and digital divides?
* How might practitioners maximise the impact of electronic tools on 
their campaigning goals?
* Which HCI techniques are appropriate for such movements and 
organisations, and is there a need to develop  new methods and 
techniques? 
* What kinds of  design and development tools can be made available 
for (generally inexperienced) volunteers to make best use of available 
technologies?
* How can we study the interactions between participants in social 
movements and systems designed to support them?
* How does engagement with electronic campaigns relate to 'real world' 
activism?
* What are the challenges in attempting to counter undesirable 
developments, e.g. campaigning by racist or sectarian groups, and how 
might this differ when computer mediated methods are used?
* Can open-source be used to support such groups, without technical 
and usability challenges undermining dissemination?
* How can campaigns integrate electronic and physical information 
systems to maintain involvement?
* How can social movements organise across boundaries of language, 
organisations and culture?
* How does the globalisation and computerisation of campaigning 
impact on the developing world?
* How might different developments of internet governance arrangements 
and intellectual property rights relate to such groups?

5. PROPOSED WORKSHOP STRUCTURE

The morning session will consist of a short introduction, followed 
by an opportunity for each participant to present their initial position 
statements / case studies. 

The afternoon session will consist of a set of break-out groups to 
address selected topics from those above. The groups will report back 
and the final part of the workshop will be given over to planning future 
activities and support networks.

6. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
http://www.bcs-hci.org.uk/hci2003/confprog-wk.asp










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