The 11th International Conference on Communities and Technologies – Humanization of Digital Technologies
May 29 – June 02, 2023 Lahti, Finland
The biennial Communities and Technologies (C&T) conference is the premier international forum for stimulating scholarly debate and disseminating research on the complex connections between communities – in their multiple forms – and information and communication technologies.
C&T 2023 welcomes participation from researchers, designers, educators, industry, and students from the many disciplines and perspectives bearing on the interaction between community and technology, including architecture, arts, business, design, economics, education, engineering, ergonomics, informatics, information technology, geography, health, humanities, law, media and communication studies, and social sciences.
We look forward to welcoming you to an exciting conference in Lahti!
Annika Wolff & Dominik Siemon
2023 Theme: Humanization of Digital Technologies
“We live in a digital world, but we’re fairly analog creatures” – Omar Ahmad
C&T’s 2023 theme “Humanization of Digital Technologies”, invites participants to examine the implications and characteristics of human-driven information and communication technologies (ICTs), with a particular focus on the role and participation of communities and society in the design and use of ICT. We also consider the important role of humans in advocating for those without a voice, such as non-human creatures and the environment itself.
C&T focuses on the notion of communities as comprised of people who share something in common; this common element may be geography, needs, goals, interests, practices, organizations, enemies, or other bases for social connection. Communities are considered to be a basic unit of social experience, and effective communities work collaboratively toward their common good — such as finding peaceful ways to resolve conflict, securing a more equitable society, and promoting a healthy and diverse environment, and cultural diversity.
At past, C&T conferences ICTs have largely been examined by researchers, academics, and practitioners through an optimistic lens, for their capacity to support community formation and development by facilitating communication, coordination, and mobilization among members, and to empower communities to collectively deal with challenges and threats. At C&T 2023, we will continue to explore how ICT can be developed and used in ways that put humans, and their values and needs before technology and alongside the needs of other living creatures that share the environment . This includes not only human-centered development processes such as co-creation, crowdsourcing, or participatory design but also the inclusion of human agency, well-being, empowerment, ethics, accessibility, and inclusion and also more-than human approaches to design.
The COVID pandemic has shown us how communities can continue to function and thrive with the help of ICT and what challenges can arise from compelled interaction and communication through purely digital technologies. In addition, digital technologies to support interaction, collaboration, and community building are often developed without taking into account the needs and desires of users and people. New developments in virtual and augmented reality (e.g., metaverse) and artificial intelligence (e.g., anthropomorphic conversational agents) show how new technologies can be used to support communities. At the same time, novel concepts such as postdigitalism are pushing more into the foreground as a result of an advance in digitalization and measures of the pandemic for the time being. Postdigitalism, a concept more concerned with being human than with being digital, shows us how we should not necessarily stop digitization, but approach it in a more thoughtful and human-centered way.
Against this backdrop, the question arises of how modern technologies can be developed and deployed consciously in harmony with us humans and our living surroundings, in order to not compromise our agency and support the building of communities?