Exploring transformation and empowerment in times of COVID-19

On this page you will find all information about the online workshop “Designing for New Forms of Vulnerability” of CHI 2021.

What is the workshop about?
Our workshop will focus on the vulnerability of specific social groups for a variety of reasons, including COVID-19, and the potential for technology design to lead to empowerment. We will look at what new forms of vulnerability are emerging and how we can design digital environments that acknowledge vulnerability but also have the potential to empower people in ways that are meaningful to them.

In the workshop, we will share ideas and thoughts without fear of being exposed to biased assumptions. The workshop will facilitate non-hierarchical and collaborative discussion and collaboration. The goal here is to gain a shared understanding and to sensitize other researchers in the HCI world for future work with vulnerable groups.

What does that mean?
Social groups that would not normally fall into the group of vulnerable people who are then constrained in their daily lives, for example, by crisis situations such as COVID-19, and experience different as well as new forms of vulnerability. Thus, people became vulnerable not only physically due to health concerns, but also socially as a result of the limitations. Examples here may include pupils who are unable to participate in an online class due to a very slow or non-existent internet connection, but normally have very good digital literacy skills, or people in rural areas or camps who use public wifi hotspots and are unable to access the internet during a lockdown.

Why should you attend?
Designing for improvements in people’s lives has always been at the core of HCI. As a new set of sensitivities have emerged recently as a result of COVID-19, we need to understand these new conditions in order to design for them. In the face of COVID-19, people became vulnerable not only physically due to health concerns, but also socially as a result of the restrictions put in place in response to the pandemic. Virtually all aspects of society were impacted, dramatically changing and often challenging the way we were accustomed to living our lives.

In this workshop, therefore, we aim to bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines to develop new approaches to help us recognize new forms of vulnerability and explore opportunities for transformation and empowerment in these turbulent times.

How can you attend?
To participate, anyone interested must submit a current position paper that reflects their perspective or experience of new forms of vulnerability. The extended deadline for submission is February 27. More information is available under the tab “Call for Papers“. If you have further questions, please contact us at the mail address: newvulnerabilities2021@gmail.com

We are looking forward to interesting and exciting contributions!

David Struzek
Katerina Cerna
Richard Paluch
Sven Bittenbinder
Arlind Reuter
Lydia Stamato
Özge Subaşı
Foad Hamidi
John Vines
Claudia Müller