Appropriating Technology

IT for Change

Organization's slogan: 
An India-based NGO working on information society theory and practice from the standpoint of equity, social justice and gender equality.
Civic Organization Disclaimer: 
Possible disclaimer: This information has been entered by a person who isn't associated with the organization. It may be incomplete or contain mistakes. If you are associated with this organization and would like to maintain this information, please get a Public Sphere Project account and ask us to transfer ownership of this information to you.

IT for Change works in the following areas.

Development for IS

An equitable information society can flourish only through inclusive and informed debate, involving not merely actors from the technology arena but all actors in the development sphere, especially from the South. Current information society and 'ICTs for development' or ICTD approaches predominantly represent Northern realities and perspectives, tending to favour market-fundamentalist thinking and valorising technology per se. IT for Change attempts to de-construct the dominant approach and concepts in relation to ICTs and development and articulate alternatives, based on information provided by field work.

Internet governance

The manner in which the Internet is being shaped today is an important determinant of the directions of social change. It is no longer a simple technical platform about which scientists and technical experts are best placed to take all the important decisions. The question then becomes important: who decides the direction in which the Internet is evolving? A common response is that the Internet is a dynamic platform which responds to user needs. User determination of the trajectory of the Internet's evolution is today largely a myth, though some remarkable oases of alternative practices amongst committed techies or perhaps even involving some ordinary 'power users' do exist. To the extent the user has a role, it is in his capacity as a consumer, which capacity itself is very differentially distributed between the affluent and the marginalsied groups. Largely, it is the corporatist and statist powers that play an overwhelming driving role in shaping the Internet. Other than in very authoritarian countries, it is the global corporate power, often with strong support from governments, especially those of the North, that is the major determinant of the directions that the Internet is taking. The Internet being a major force in our shifting social configurations, it should not be difficult to see what this means for our future, especially for people and communities that are already marginalised.

 
Gender

IT for Change (ITfC) focuses on theory-building and policy research, adopting a pro-South feminist approach. ITfC seeks to build a theoretical framework of gender and information society that problematises women’s citizenship in the changing social order. ITfC’s research and advocacy have critiqued market-based approaches in policy making – globally and nationally – and have pushed for new frameworks based on citizenship and rights-based approaches.IT for Change's work in the area of governance looks at how new technology paradigms open up novel opportunities for deepening democracy while also presenting challenges to many conceptions of democratic governance. We engage with policies in the area of e-governance, public information systems, decentralisation and community based governance structures. We also engage with demonstration projects to explore bottom-up, participatory designs of governance systems that centre on divergent and dynamic priorities of local communities and engage their ongoing active participation.

Governance

IT for Change's work in the area of governance looks at how new technology paradigms open up novel opportunities for deepening democracy while also presenting challenges to many conceptions of democratic governance. We engage with policies in the area of e-governance, public information systems, decentralisation and community based governance structures. We also engage with demonstration projects to explore bottom-up, participatory designs of governance systems that centre on divergent and dynamic priorities of local communities and engage their ongoing active participation.

Education

IT for Change (ITfC) believes that ICTs can help to shape participatory and collaborative processes of learning as well as teacher professional development in education, and is concerned by the attempts to use ICT programs in schools to justify, without any basis, the privatisation of both curriculum and pedagogy in the Indian public education system.

Public Software

Public software is all software that is essential for participating in the digital society and thus needs to be provided to everyone as an universal right and entitlement. It includes operating system, text / image / audio / video editors, email, web browser, search engine etc. Public software needs to be free software, providing the freedom to use, study, modify and share, to ensure universal access as well as participation in its creation and modification.

Organizational engagement: 
Active
Organization's headquarters: 
Bangalore, India
Organization's geographic focus: 
India-based
Contact person: 
Parminder Jeet Singh
Contact information: 
ITfC(at)ITforChange(dot)net

Invitation to Join the Collective Intelligence for the Common Good Community / Network

Invitation to join the Collective Intelligence for the Common Good Community / Network

We would like to invite you to participate in a new research and action community network that focuses on Collective Intelligence for the Common Good. We hope that our collaborative efforts will help address our shared challenges.

Project Goals: 
Develop collaborative tools, policies, etc. — and links between them — that have a positive influence in addressing local and global challenges.

HERMES Center for Transparency and Digital Human Rights

Organization's slogan: 
Whistleblowing Technologies: Empowering Truth as a Human Right
Civic Organization Disclaimer: 
Possible disclaimer: This information has been entered by a person who isn't associated with the organization. It may be incomplete or contain mistakes. If you are associated with this organization and would like to maintain this information, please get a Public Sphere Project account and ask us to transfer ownership of this information to you.

Our mission is to promote and develop in the society the awareness of and the attention to transparency and accountability, be they related to the society-at-large or not. Our goal is to increase the citizens’ involvement in the management of matters of public interest and to boost the active participation of workers and employees to correct the management of corporations and companies they work for.

Organizational engagement: 
Active
Organization's headquarters: 
Milan, Italy
Organization's geographic focus: 
Worldwide

Riseup

Organization's slogan: 
Riseup provides online communication tools for people and groups working on liberatory social change. We are a project to create democratic alternatives and practice self-determination by controlling our own secure means of communications.
Civic Organization Disclaimer: 
Possible disclaimer: This information has been entered by a person who isn't associated with the organization. It may be incomplete or contain mistakes. If you are associated with this organization and would like to maintain this information, please get a Public Sphere Project account and ask us to transfer ownership of this information to you.

 

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In order to contact us with a question, use the help desk form to create a help ticket. But first, please search and read the online documentation found on this site.

 
Organizational engagement: 
Active
Organization's geographic focus: 
world

Street Music

Douglas Schuler
The Public Sphere Project
Celebration of Public Music
Version: 
1
Problem: 

(note that the Problem Statement is still in work.....)

Music, including singing as well as the playing of instruments, has been a key element of the human condition for millennia. Unfortunately -- at least in the United States -- music has become more of a commodity, to be enjoyed passively and non-interactively. 

The rise of mass media is probably at least one of the culprits. 

Context: 

(note that the Context Statement is still in work.....)

Discussion: 

(note that the Discussion is still in work.....)

Street Music blurs the distinction between producer and consumer of music as well as the distinction between formal and informal venues for music production and consumption. 

Although street bands, including many of those found at Honk Fests, can be found at protests (including the Infernal Noise Machine (image below) that supported the demonstrations against the World Trade Organization in Seattle in 1999), their actions are often political to a large degree by virtue of their publicness in an era of electronic or other formalized or mediated forms of music consumption. 

See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-MLvzLlou4 for Environmental Encroachment's performance of Hashia.

 

Thanks to a member of the Bucharest Drinking Team and to Bob of Environmental Encroachment for their thoughts on the current breed of "new street bands" including their history and motivation. 

Solution: 

 

Solution in work:

something about establishing and supporting street music. More and more and more of it....

Categories: 
orientation
Categories: 
engagement
Categories: 
social
Categories: 
products
Themes: 
Social Critique
Themes: 
Community Action
Themes: 
Social Movement
Themes: 
Media Critique
Information about introductory graphic: 
Photo of Church, a marching band from Santa Rosa, California. Shot by Douglas Schuler, June 1, 2012. Georgetown (Seattle, WA)
Information about summary graphic: 

Infernal Noise Machine, Seattle Washington

March-Hare Communications Collective

Organization's slogan: 
March Hare Communications Collective, Inc. (MHCC) is a volunteer mutual benefit corporation that is dedicated to promoting emerging communications technology for the use of public organizing of grass-roots groups and non-governmental organizations. The focus of the March Hare Communications Collective, Inc. is to develop new, secure and open software to be used with existing technologies that will aid community and grass-roots coordination, social networking and organization specifically using mobile technologies. In addition March Hare Communications Collective, Inc. seeks to provide educational materials and trainings on how to use mobile technologies in a safe and effective manner that meets the needs of the user groups. March Hare Communications Collective, Inc. seeks to be a depository of both technologies and information regarding the innovative use of mobile technologies to promote social justice in the US and internationally by grass-root/community groups.
Civic Organization Disclaimer: 
Possible disclaimer: This information has been entered by a person who isn't associated with the organization. It may be incomplete or contain mistakes. If you are associated with this organization and would like to maintain this information, please get a Public Sphere Project account and ask us to transfer ownership of this information to you.

March Hare Communications Collective, Inc. (MHCC) is a volunteer mutual benefit corporation that is dedicated to promoting emerging communications technology for the use of public organizing of grass-roots groups and non-governmental organizations. The focus of the March Hare Communications Collective, Inc. is to develop new, secure and open software to be used with existing technologies that will aid community and grass-roots coordination, social networking and organization specifically using mobile technologies. In addition March Hare Communications Collective, Inc. seeks to provide educational materials and trainings on how to use mobile technologies in a safe and effective manner that meets the needs of the user groups. March Hare Communications Collective, Inc. seeks to be a depository of both technologies and information regarding the innovative use of mobile technologies to promote social justice in the US and internationally by grass-root/community groups.

Organizational engagement: 
Active
Organization's headquarters: 
United States

Civics of Modern Media

As the means of communication have changed over the course of American history, so has the way public discourse has been carried out. National radio was a revolution that could put the voice of the president in every living room across the nation for fireside chats. With the rise of television, the firm jaw of Walter Cronkite could relay the facts as millions of viewers tuned in every night.

Post Image: 
Image Credit: 
Tor Even Mathisen - CC: A, NC, SA

Sustainability of Weedy Sociality and Distributed Wilderness

Pattern ID: 
53
Pattern number within this pattern set: 
53
maja {and} xinwei kuzmanovic {and} sha
FoAM {and} GaTech
Problem: 

The process of globalization is causing a rapid decrease of diversity in the social, biological and cultural habitats, due to the dominant economic powers, such as proprietary communication technologies and transnational 'life industries'. Physical public spaces, as arenas for a wide range of interaction and social change are losing their importance, as the global marketplace has shifted its locus from the accessible public markets to the dispersed and elusive global networks.

Context: 

In the era of mass homogenization of branded public spaces around the world, we propose a research into the historical examples of sustainable urban spaces that focus on dynamics and diversity in the social, biological and cultural domains. The examples of such public spaces are community gardens and pocket parks, non-institutionalized plaza and street life, travelling fairs and periodic festivals. From these spaces, we learn about ways of conducting an alternative economy based on emergent trans-local actions, rather than accepting the generic, mono-cultural approach of the global free-market.

Discussion: 

We propose two projects: Hubbub and GroWorld as case studies for a pattern that deals with sustaining trans-local diversity in the social, organic and cultural domains. This pattern is based on the assumption that social interaction and exchange can take advantage of the information technologies to augment site-specific urban contexts with a layer of pliant digital media, that can be shared between several localities and communities. By developing (elements of) spaces that can be seen as autonomous, 'alive' entities, the public arenas acquire additional layers of interaction (human-human, human-built space, human-media space...), that can yield unexpected social participation.

Hubbub, a project developed in the Topological Media Lab at Georgia Institute of Technology, is an investigation of how accidental and non-accidental conversations can by catalyzed in urban spaces by means of speech projected onto public surfaces. Hubbub installations may be built into a bench, in a bus stop, a bar, a cafe, a school courtyard, a plaza, a park. As you walk by a Hubbub installation, some of the words you speak will dance in projection across the surfaces according to the energy and prosody of your voice. We'll capitalize on recognition errors to give a playful character to the space. Hubbub's success will be measured by the extent to which strangers who revisit a hubbub space begin to interact with one another socially in ways they otherwise would not. Hubbub is a part of a larger cycle called URBAN EARS, which explores how cities conduct conversations via the architecture of physical and computational matter.

GroWorld is an initiative that started within FoAM in Brussels. It encourages multidisciplinary discussions, bringing different research topics into a common focus: 'growth processes' in (physical and virtual) life. GroWorld is currently developed in three parallel trajectories: ecological, technological and socio-cultural. The trajectories are mutually independent, but complimentary, with their results being integrated into several experiments. The ecological strand involves building a trans-local network of public gardens concerned with preserving local bio-diversity, grown by scientists, landscape architects and neighboring communities. The gardens are sites evolving on their own accord - becoming patches of autonomous organic wilderness in the midst of an urban jungle, grown and molded by their care-takers and temporary dwellers. They are devised both as growing environments in which the visitors can comfortably linger, surrounded by specific local flora, and instruments allowing their players to collaboratively shape and steer the environment's processes of growth, decay and transformation. GroWorld's cultural trajectory comprises artists and designers interested in 'biomimetics', learning from nature to design responsive spaces and objects. More specifically, this strand examines growth processes in audiovisual media, textile design and human computer interaction and applies this research in mixed reality installations, a-life gaming environments and smart textiles. Simultaneously, the technological strand develops responsive media, technologies and interfaces for social interaction, information and entertainment. Its results should be accessible to different communities and should be adaptable for several social, biological and cultural contexts - adaptable to both indoor and outdoor spaces, different climates and cultures.

Both Hubbub and Groworld are phenomenological experiments, that are built upon symbiotic collaboration between different cultures and disciplines. The projects should lead towards manifold applications of developed media and technologies, with a high level of invariance. Metaphorically, these practices can be compared to the horticultural, communal patterns of farming, that can function as an alternative to generic or monocultural approach to global economy.

Integration of cultural, ecological and technological studies will move these projects towards a long term experiment in sustainable creative, technological and sociological development, connecting organizations and individuals from various disciplines and cultures in one common goal: growing an adaptive, sustainable habitat for nature, technology and culture.

Solution: 

Minimize borders and maximize edges. The sustainability of public spaces is dependent on an abundant diversity of social, biological and cultural habitats. Their interrelationships will inevitably grow at the edges of dissimilar environments, such as urban-natural, cultural-scientific, physical-digital. The public spaces of the future should merge the context and the meaning of the local, physical sites with the globally accessible digital media and build trans-local events encouraging interaction between communities on both sides of the digital divide.

Pattern status: 
Released
Information about introductory graphic: 
from DIAC-2002 paper, Sustainable Arenas for Weedy Sociality: Distributed Wilderness
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