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1 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Socially Embedded Technologies - Academic and Institutional Challenges Volker Wulf
2 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Table of Content l EUSSET: the vision l Methods and Concepts: some examples »Design Case Studies »Infrastructuring l Academic Challenges l Knowledge building l Institutional Challenges l TODOs
3 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen EUSSET: Understanding and Designing Social-Embedded Technologies l Computers are becoming an infrastructure for all/different domains of life l Traditional CS / IS fields do not take the social embeddedness of technologies (sufficiently) into account l European intellectual tradition is spear heading these issues »European CSCW / HCI / IS communities: quite some actors are in the room l Bringing together »Understanding of social practices in their differentiation »Designing of innovative technologies in a wide range of domains
4 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Academic Challenges l Academic subfields suffer from epistemological divide (positivistic vs. constructivist research agendas) »Human Computer Interaction, »Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Learning »Ubiquitous Computing »Software Engineering »Information Systems l EUSSET: a coherent research agenda »Understanding social systems (field of applications for innovative technologies) »Designing innovative technologies »Understanding their appropriation in the wild
5 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Design Case Studies: Long-term Engagement with Practice (Wulf et al 2009) l Design Case Studies »Empirical analysis of given practices in a specific field of application, »(Participatory) Design of an innovative ICT artifact related to the findings of the empirical analysis »Investigation into the appropriation of the ICT artifact over a longer period of time. l Definition describes an ideal type of studies, fragments are often interesting, interleaving temporal order of phases Prestudy Design Appropriation
6 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Design Case Studies in Specific Application Domains End User Develop ment Appro- priation Support Design Me- thodes Cross-cutting Issue: Concept building Aging Society Sustain- ability Community Support Cooperative Work
7 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Infrastructuring: Toward an Integrated Perspective on the Design and Use of Information Technology ( Pipek/Wulf 2009)
8 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Research Challenges l Practices are hidden, partly digitalized, complex, developing l Design: creatively linked to practices l Technologies: design space is influenced by history of their emergence l Appropriation: creatively inspired by innovative technological artefacts and transformativly linked to given practice l Changes in practice: driven by multitude of factors l Conceptual and theoretical problems- competition rather than cooperation
9 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Knowledge building in a situated research approach l Current state of the art »Theories and concepts without evaluation and scope of validity »Accumulation of (design) case studies without knowledge building on top of them l (Design) case studies within a constructionist paradigm »Linked to specific practices and IT design options »Case studies offer thick descriptions »Situated in specific context l Theory and concept building is through comparison of multiple cases (corpus of studies)
10 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Domains of Research with Societal Relevance l Internationally competitive production systems: technologies and work organization l Ecological production and consumption of energy and raw materials l Aging society: health care and social caring l New forms of political participation and democratic legitimation l New forms of multinational cooperation and economical regulation l Migration: integration and reference to home community l Issues of specific developmental needs: Agriculture, raw material production, education, health, global cooperation
11 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Europe: Institutional Strengths l Europe has a strong intellectual tradition to ground the field »Philosophical foundations: Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Latour »Tradition of Socio-technical Systems »Movement of Participatory Design l Evolutionary model of innovation l Europe‘s funding is based on collaborative schemes between academia and practitioneers
12 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Europe: Institutional Problems l EU-IST FP 7 (and 8?) does not provide much funding for EUSSET domains »Periperal work packages in a large variety of domains »Lacking funding in topic areas central to the community »National funding schemes work operate similarly l Cooperation between academia and IT industries and IT user (organizations) does not work perfectly »European funding model ‚in theory‘ perfectly suited but needs some improvements »Better schemes and techniques required to bridge the gap between very different communities pf practice
13 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Europe: Institutional Problems - 2 l European academic conferences suffer from international competition »Less submissions »Smaller participation »Missing plattform for publication, other than (expensive) commercial publishers or (US-dominated) ACM-DL l European academic community »Segregated and distributed across different fields, little shared discourse »Stagnating in size and ageing core actors
14 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Open Issues: Academically l Looking for an appropritate research and design paradigm for the EUSSET community »Bridging between technological innovation and ethnographical depth l Building knowledge in a situated design community: issue of transferability beyond cases l Bridging among disciplines l Opening towards practitioners
15 © 2012 Volker Wulf, University of Siegen Organizational Issues l EUSSET organization: financing, membership, leadership, mailing list(s) l EU / National Government Lobbying: list of contacts, materials for contacting l Exchange of (phd-) students, joint master program, summer school: Erasmus funding l EUSSET Digital Library: presentation of conference proceedings l New conference format, e.g. COOP: extended versions of publication format, discoursive presentation und documentation, integration of practitioneers l Wikipedia presentation: Socially Embedded Technologies, Socio-Informatics, (E-)CSCW, Appropriation, ……
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