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

Gilly Leshed gl87 at cornell.edu
Mon Jan 17 08:45:05 PST 2011


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

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

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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 activities?

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.

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PARTICIPATION
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 resources
- Information overload in web, internet, and communication technologies, 
including social media and social networking sites: causes, experiences, 
coping strategies, and social and cultural responses
- 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 
questions
- 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.

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

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LOCATION AND TRAVEL
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.

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ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
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, The Information School, University of Washington
Carman Neustaedter, School of Interactive Arts + Technology, Simon 
Fraser University

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


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