<unlike-us> Call for contributions to (virtual) PDC workshop: “Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility

Doug Schuler douglas at publicsphereproject.org
Tue Mar 24 20:56:12 CET 2020

*Call for contributions to (virtual) PDC workshop: “Computing Professionals
for Social Responsibility: The Past, Present and Future Values of
Participatory Design”*

Values play a central role in technology design. But whose values? Where
are they coming from? How exactly do they play out and shape the
socio-technical systems we create? And which values do we want to prevail?
New challenges such as the climate crisis and societal polarization call
for technologists to become part of the public and political arena. This
results in a new sense of responsibility, but the closing of CPSR
<http://cpsr.org/>, the Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility,
has left a gap. Today, across tech workers, academics and computing
professionals, there is a renewed sense of urgency for engaging the public
and politics to change course in how computing is shaping society.

At a time when intersections in automation and AI agendas, social justice
and climate emergency are inspiring researchers of all types and
temperaments to write passionate appeals for change
<https://scientistswarning.forestry.oregonstate.edu/>, is it time to revive
the activist wing of PD with a new structure for public and political
engagement? This interactive workshop at PDC 2020 <http://pdc2020.org/>
(conducted remotely) will re-invigorate the debate around values and social
responsibility across disciplinary boundaries in the Latin American context
to discuss:

*Who has what responsibilities related to values in computing today?* Where
are the boundaries, connections and overlaps in value responsibilities
across designers, academic researchers, tech workers, community organizers
and other stakeholders? Whose values are marginalized how? What can we
learn from CPSR?

*How do we handle values critically in PD research and practice?* Beyond a
call to be sensitive, and methods to support sensitivity, PD must also face
how marginalization, coercion and false consensus play out on the level of
values. How do existing approaches to PD account for this? Does this
present a challenge to PD practice and research? How can computing
professionals and academics support those affected by computing in
emancipating themselves from the values embedded in computing?

*What should a CPSR for the 21st century look like?* The CPSR wound down
over a decade ago, but today, organizations like it are more needed than
ever. What could such an organization achieve? What should it be like? How
could it come to be? Many organizations, initiatives, collectives and
individuals already speak to these concerns. How can they connect and
cooperate more effectively?

We ask prospective participants to submit a short position paper (500-1000
words) in English, Spanish or Portuguese that outlines

   - a concrete case or experience report that speaks to responsibilities
   and values,
   - a historical view on CPSR,
   - a reflection or critique of current positions or practices, or
   - a personal interest statement.

Please submit papers via email to pdc2020cpsr at gmail.com by April 7.

We are also building a collaborative map
<https://graphcommons.com/graphs/bb42292b-a855-4841-b65a-c143a0e12c8f> of
relevant organizations and welcome contributions!

*A note on Covid-19:* We expect that the workshop will be primarily or
exclusively conducted remotely. PDC currently operates on the assumption
that the conference will take place, but that remote participation will be
essential and supported.


   - Christoph Becker, University of Toronto, Canada
   - Ann Light, University of Sussex, UK
   - Victoria Palacin, University of Helsinki and LUT University, Finland
   - Dawn Walker, University of Toronto, Canada
   - Christopher Frauenberger, TU Wien, Austria
   - Rachel Charlotte Smith, Aarhus University, Denmark
   - Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed, University of Toronto, Canada
   - Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar, MIT Media Lab, USA
   - David Nemer, University of Virginia, USA

Workshop website: https://pdc2020cpsr.wordpress.com/

Douglas Schuler
douglas at publicsphereproject.org
Twitter: @doug_schuler

Public Sphere Project

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