Towards an Inclusive Digital Society: Shaping the Agenda for Technology Design
10th -12th December 2018
Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are considered essential for achieving the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations. It has been found, however, that initiatives which rely on ICTs as a blanket solution with deterministic motivations without counting in social, political and cultural factors often fail to meet their stated development objectives. There is increasing evidence to suggest that meaningful access to ICTs and capabilities required for their effective use are ensconced in myriad interactions between individuals’ skills, social positions and their larger network of social relations. Hence, when we think of an inclusive [digital] society, we need to focus on these issues as important factors shaping people’s engagement with ICTs. These factors could help create a social envelop around ICTs that sensibly imbue social concerns into technology design leading to better participation and inclusion of under-served and marginal social groups. Some of the following questions become pertinent in order for inclusion to serve as a key design principle of our ICTs:
- What could be the constituents of a relevant social envelop and how could it be constructed?
- Can inclusion be understood only ex-post during the technology use stage or, could it become an ex-ante construct to inform better designs?
Theme for 2018
This year’s Winter School ‘Towards an Inclusive Digital Society: Shaping the Agenda for Technology Design’ presents a brief conceptual and practical toolkit for combining the technical and social support required for achieving greater inclusion in the design of ICTs. Towards this end, we will look at three axes through which exclusion usually takes place, namely, class, disability and gender. The aim of the Winter School is to highlight the ways in which technologies can become exclusive, how it could impact different segments of the society and how we can think of alternative design principles that will make our ICTs more inclusive.
The programme consists of lectures, interactive discussions, film screenings and group activities.
Keynote: Need for an inclusive digital society: A design-thinking approach
Introduction: Complex systems, simple designs? Towards better digital inclusion
Module I: Session I: Class bias in technology design and its implications
Module I: Session II: How to leverage digital technologies for low income contexts
Module II: Session I: Gender bias in technology design and its implications
Module II: Session II: How to bring gender-sensitivity in digital technology designs
Module III: Session I: Principles of accessibility in digital technology design
Module III: Session II: Challenges of building assistive technologies
At the end of the three day programme, participants will present a poster on a specific aspect of the inclusive design discussed during the Winter School. The sessions will be conducted during 9 am and 5 pm every day. Detailed schedule of the programme will be available by 3rd week of November 2018.
Anybody with a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline may apply. Students who are in the final year of their Bachelor’s degree may also apply. Working professionals employed in the government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors are also encouraged to apply. There is no application fee. Selected candidates will have to register for attending the Winter School. Registration Fee for students and working professionals are Rs. 1000/ and Rs. 3000/- respectively. Registration fee will include a programme kit, lunch and refreshment for three days of the winter school. Outstation participants may be provided limited and partial travel allowance and accommodation at IIITB’s hostel depending on availability. To apply, please fill in the Application Form. Applications must be submitted by 10th November 2018. Accepted candidates will be notified by 16th November 2018.
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