Conferences

Design för energieffektiv vardag

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The 5th of October, a large contingent of team members were attending the conference ”Design för energieffektiv vardag” arranged by the Swedish Energy Agency, which is the final conference of the research program ”Energi, IT och Design”. The conference cover a summary of the projects that has been financed during the last 10 years, and a workshop on what kind of energy and design related research is needed for the future.

The theme of the conference were design for energy efficient every day life.

There were also an exhibition where the projects financed during the third and last period of the research program presented their results. There are several projects where current or previous team members have been part of. For example from Green Leap, the projects Sensing Energy, Hållbara Livsstilar, Energiframtider and Ett bilfritt år are exhibited.

Green Leap had four projects displayed at the exhibition.

Furthermore, Förbättrad energirådgivning och förbättrade energivanor genom Quantified Self Assisted Advisory were also present at the exhibition.

Quantify yourself for a more energy and resource efficient life.

We are all hoping there will be a continuation in some form, some kind of research program with similar themes as the past has had, since practices and everyday life is still missing in the energy research and development. And we need more visions of a sustainable future.

/Elina

Annonser

Facilitating collective action in the collaborative economy through new interaction models, report from the Democracy and Participation Conference in Lisbon July 2017

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The Democracy and Participation in the 21st Century conference was held in July 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal, organised by the International Sociological Association. Conference participants engaged with the issues surrounding democracy at a time of technological change, including the collaborative, or platform economy. The platform economy is where a software platform facilitates matching of freelance workers to short-term work. Justin participated in the ”Democratic participation in the platform economy” session organised by Åke Sandberg from the University of Stockholm and Justins presentation drew on the work he has been doing with Åke in the past year. This session explored the impact digitization has had on the nature of work and on traditional forms of collective action. In particular, unions in many countries are losing members as their worker base increasingly finds employment as freelance workers and in the platform economy rather than in traditional firms.

David Peetz’s presentation focused on how firms still maintain a core of employees, offering a way in for unions, however unions will need to embrace on-line media such as the Our Walmart app. Todd Wolfson was unable to attend, but his presentation would have highlighted the importance of collective identity for platform economy workers, which is different from that of regular workers. Bela Galgoczi’s presentation asked the questions what makes an employee and what makes an employer in the digital economy and what are the implications for trade unions. There is the potential to create new structures such as platform co-ops but they still need to compete with mainstream platforms such as Uber.

Our presentation offered ”a new producer-consumer interaction model for facilitating collective action in the collaborative economy”, based on our exploration of how guild-like cooperatives and trade unions could work in an economy where growing numbers of individual freelance workers interact with their employers via online platforms. We presented the Software Review Alliance Board, a model that brings together union members, software programmers, workplace managers and researchers to enable collective action.

Åke Sandberg brought the session to a close, highlighting that the platform economy has led to a rise in self-employment, which is an opportunity for unions to engage with self-employed workers and negotiate on behalf of them. In the UK, the Taylor Report on working practices suggested a new category of workers, but the unions are resisting the report’s recommendations. One possibility is that workers could create their own platforms, our proposed Review Alliance model indicates how such platforms could work in practice.

The conference highlighted how human-computer interaction has changed in recent years, to play a more central role in society. Software platforms are now increasingly governing how people work, creating a new class in the process, the ”precariat” working in the ”gig economy”. However, the ideas and research presented in this session and during the rest of the conference shows that it is possible to use this technology to create new mechanisms for workers to take collective action.

/Justin Larner and Åke Walldius

 

The Taylor Report:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-the-taylor-review-of-modern-working-practices

Abstracts from the Democracy and Participation conference:
http://pascal.iseg.utl.pt/~socius/eventos/ISA-RC10/programa.shtml

 

Programkonferens EID

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The 6th and 7th of December some of the team members attended the program conference for the research program EID (Energy, IT and Design) arranged (and funded) by the Swedish Energy Agency. The program is in it’s last phase, and will end in the summer of 2017, and has then been running for 10 years!

At the conference, all the project managers in projects funded by the program present the current status of the projects or the results from finished projects. From our group I (Elina) present the project ”User-centred images of the future energy transition”, Björn present his project ”Improved energy counceling and energy habits by Quantified Self Assisted Advisory”, Loove present his project ”Sensing Energy”. For a full program see this PDF. Daniel wrote a longer blog post about the event, including many personal reflections.

Here is a picture of the opening slide, notice Green Leap is mentioned, as a ”result” of the program, with which several of us are affiliated. 🙂

eid_konf2016

/Elina

LIMITS’2015 – Computing within limits

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This a late blogpost about the workshop Computing within Limits that I and Daniel attended in Irvine* the 15-16 of June 2015. Or really, Daniel was one of the main organizers of the workshop, which was a first of its kind. This were the theme of the workshop:

LIMITS 2015 aims to foster discussion on the impact of present or future ecological, material, energetic, and/or societal limits on computing. These topics are seldom discussed in contemporary computing research. The medium-term aim of the workshop is to foster concrete research, potentially of an interdisciplinary nature, that innovates on technologies, techniques, and contexts for computing within fundamental limits. A longer-term goal is to build a community around relevant topics and research, with LIMITS 2015 constituting the inaugural meeting. A goal of this community is to impact society through the design and development of computing systems in the abundant present for use in a future of limits and/or scarcity.

All participants at the workshop had been invited to send in position papers to the workshop, which were then peer-reviewed before acceptance. There was a great diversity, and the papers presented intriguing subjects, I can only recommend you to browse the list of papers under program and papers and read those that catch your eye. Personally I presented a paper that I had co-authored with Bran Knowles, ”Deviant and Guilt-ridden – Psychological Limits to Computing”, where we start discussing the psychological and sociological limits when trying to work/research computing within limits.

My main take-away from the workshop, besides the obvious of meeting researchers I have been keen on meeting for a long time, was the discussion around how to address, discuss or get papers published that handles limits, degrowth** and a future of scarcity. One participants told us that his papers hade been met with comments in the lines of ”this is Mad Max scenarios, not research” when sending his texts to conferences. There were interesting discussions on complexity and if we can scale down complexity in society in a ordered fashion, and I really liked the term ”refactoring society” which Barath Raghavan coined in one pre-workshop discussion.

In terms of research areas, this was workshop where several different computing areas met around limits, so that there where scholars in ICT4D, networking, software engineering, Human-Computer Interaction, sensors and energy. I do hope this research community can get more established and grow [sic!]. There are many interesting topics that can come out of this group, even though you don’t believe in decline or collapse scenarios.

//Elina

 

* ironically #1 we were in a place where it has been a severe drought for several years, and where there were only one year of water reserves left in the state. Talking about a limits scenario.
** ironically #2, my web browser does not want to recognize degrowth as a proper word, but tries to auto-correct it to regrowth. 🙂

MID4S @ ICT4S

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It’s time for some bragging.

The MID4S team submitted no less than 7 papers to the ICT4S conference that will be held in Stockholm in August. Of these 7 papers, no less than 6 were accepted for presentation/publication!

– That’s an acceptance rate of >85% for the team’s submissions.

– The general acceptance rate for the conference is around 50%, e.g. 100 papers were submitted and half of them were accepted. Our colleagues and collaborators at CESC probably has an equal number of additional papers accepted besides our papers…

– That also means our team will contribute with >10% of all a accepted papers/presentations at the conference.

There is one caveat though. One of the papers has 27 authors Only 3 come from the MID4S team (half of those 27 authors come from UCI), so it’s hard to claim that paper as ”ours”. It will however be me (Daniel) who will present that paper at the conference.

We are doing great and are on a roll right now! Keep up the good work!

Additional comment (May 9). Here are the six accepted papers that team members have written/contributed to:

  • Jorge Luis Zapico. Data blindness and the risks of implicit values in ICT for Sustainability
  • Malin Picha Edwardsson. Environmental aspects of media scenarios for the future ICT society – a qualitative study
  • Elina Eriksson and Daniel Pargman. ICT4S reaching out: making sustainability relevant in higher education
  • Åsa Nyblom and Elina Eriksson. Time is of essence. Changing the horizon of travel planners
  • Mario Romero, Hanna Hasselqvist and Gert Svensson. Supercomputers Keeping People Warm in the Winter
  • Birgit Penzenstadler, Bill Tomlinson, Eric Baumer, Marcel Pufal, Ankita Raturi, Debra Richardson, Baki Cakici, Ruzanna Chitchyan, Georges Da Costa, Lynn Dombrowski, Malin Picha Edwardsson, Elina Eriksson, Xavier Franch, Gillian R. Hayes, Christina Herzog, Wolfgang Lohmann, Martin Mahaux, Alistair Mavin, Melissa Mazmanian, Sahand Nayebaziz, Juliet Norton, Daniel Pargman, Donald J. Patterson, Jean-Marc Pierson, Kristin Roher, M. Six Silberman, Kevin Simonson, Andrew W. Torrance and Andre van der Hoek. ICT4S 2029: What will be the systems supporting sustainability in 15 years?

EESD 2013

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This is a somewhat belated blog post about a conference that Daniel and I (Elina) attended in Cambridge in September. The conference was the EESD – Engineering Education for Sustainable Development , and this years theme was ”Rethinking the Engineer”. We attended since we had a paper accepted, “It’s not fair!” – making students engage in sustainability, based on the  Media Technology and Sustainability course we are teaching . Daniel were also co-author to another paper accepted to the conference, Engineers of the future: using scenarios methods in sustainable development education.

I really enjoyed the conference, it was the first time around for me. It probably was the most friendly and welcoming conference I’ve been to, with lots of (to me previously unknown) people inviting me to sit down at meals to join the discussions. I will keep this blog post short, and instead refer to others who have written longer and perhaps more critical about the conference. The first is James Keirstead who have written some thoughts on the conference in his blog and the other is our own Daniel who have written about the conference on his academic blog.

Yours truly making a funny face, and Daniel saying something intelligent.
Yours truly making a funny face, and Daniel saying something intelligent at the EESD conference.

//elina