[Air-L] CFP: Rethinking the Culture of Busyness and IT: NSF-sponsored symposium

Gilly Leshed gl87 at cornell.edu
Mon Nov 29 18:48:08 PST 2010


“Slow Down, You Move Too Fast”:
Rethinking the Culture of Busyness and IT

NSF-Sponsored Symposium
Seattle, WA
May 6-7, 2011

We live in a culture of busyness: in developed countries, many of us
feel rushed, overloaded and overworked, yet we value the idea of doing
more in less time. In this culture, information technologies (IT) are
intended to free us from hard labor and save us time: e-mail is sent
immediately, e-shopping saves us from trudging through malls, status
updates and microblogging give us quick glimpses into friends’ lives,
and smartphones make it all instantly accessible on the go. At the
same time, our use of IT may affect experiences of time in other ways:
facilitating fragmentation and micro-coordination of work,
inadvertently or insidiously redistributing labor and responsibility,
making accessible an overabundance of information, products and
services among which we feel obligated to choose properly, and
increasing our availability to anyone, anytime and anywhere. What role
does technology actually play in promoting a culture of busyness? Can
technology be designed purposely against a cultural mainstream of
productivity, encouraging slowing down, reflection, and pause? To what
extent could such technology be relevant to task-centric workplaces or
busy homes with multiple family members coordinating their

The goal of this NSF-funded symposium is to foster an
interdisciplinary research community that draws from the social
sciences, science&  technology studies, organization and management
science, and technology design to address the following questions:
(1) What are the roles of IT in coping with and/or promoting a culture
of busyness? We aim to identify theoretical and empirical gaps in
understanding sociotechnical aspects of busyness at the individual,
organizational, and societal level.
(2) To what extent is it possible to intervene in the culture of
busyness by altering the design of IT or its use practices? We will
identify both technical and social opportunities and challenges in the
design and application of IT interventions for this purpose.

We invite researchers, designers, and practitioners interested in
addressing the relationship between technology and the intensification
of life in the workplace, at home, and elsewhere. Sample topics
include but are not limited to:
- Interruption management and the increasing demand on cognitive
- Information overload in web, internet, and communication
technologies, including social media and social networking sites:
causes, experiences, coping strategies, and social and cultural
- Rhetoric and costs of anytime, anywhere access and availability with
mobile and awareness technologies
- Sociological analysis of uses of technologies for time management,
activity and task management, and personal information management
- Technology saving whose time, at whose expense and other political
- Analysis of ties between technologies in domestic environments and
the acceleration of home life and leisure
- Designing for slowness, reflection, and pause
- Analysis of ways technology design redistributes workload either
surreptitiously, intentionally, or accidentally, fairly or unfairly,
sometimes in the name of “efficiency”
- Design and use of technology in cultures embracing other values of
time and work
- Possibilities for and limitations of interventions based on
technology design or changing use practices in any of these topics

To participate, please submit a position paper that briefly addresses
each of the following questions:
1. What work have you done in this area? How is it related to the
theme of this symposium?
2. Identify one or two key issues, challenges, or opportunities you
are interested in discussing in this symposium. Why are they
important? How do you envision making progress in addressing them?
3. What one piece of research or writing have you found most
inspirational for your work in the area?

Submissions should be 2-4 pages, using the ACM paper format available
at:http://www.acm.org/sigs/publications/proceedings-templates. Please
send your submission or questions about the symposium to
gl87 at cornell.edu.

February 1, 2011: Deadline for position papers
March 1, 2011: Notification of acceptance
May 6-7, 2011: Symposium

The symposium will take place near the University of Washington
campus, Seattle, WA.
Travel funding and accommodation at the Waterfront Hotel in Seattle
will be offered to one person for each accepted symposium submission.

Gilly Leshed, Department of Communication, Cornell University
Phoebe Sengers, Information Science and Science&  Technology Studies,
Cornell University
Helen Nissenbaum, Media, Culture, and Communication&  Computer
Science, New York University

Batya Friedman, Information School, University of Washington
Carman Neustaedter, School of Interactive Arts + Technology, Simon
Fraser University

Sponsored by NSF, grant number IIS-1049359: Workshop: Rethinking the
Value of Busyness in IT

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