Ubiquitous Sustainability: Citizen Science & Activism

Workshop at the 10th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2008)

21 September 2008
Seoul, South Korea

In this workshop we propose to explore new approaches to bring about real environmental change by looking at the success of empowering technologies that enable grassroots activism and bottom up community participation. Ubiquitous computing is transforming from being mostly about professional communication and social interaction to a sensor rich personal measurement platform that can empower individuals and groups to gain an awareness of their surroundings, engage in grassroots activism to promote environmental change, and enable a new social paradigm – citizen science. This workshop brings together fresh ideas and approaches to help elevate individuals to
have a powerful voice in society, to act as citizen scientists, and collectively learn and lobby for change worldwide.

This workshop builds on the success of two prior environmentally themed workshops:
Ubiquitous Sustainability: Technologies for Green Values (UbiComp 2007)
Pervasive persuasive Technology and Enviromental Sustainbility Workshop (Pervasive 2008).

Full Workshop Proceedings of all Papes (PDF)

Orginal Position Paper for Workshop:

Ubiquitous Sustainability: Citizen Science & Activism
E. Paulos, M. Foth, C. Satchell, Y. Kim, P. Dourish, and Jaz Hee-jeong Choi
(Official Accepted Workshop paper)

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Workshop Format and Activities

We want to actively engage and acknowledge the cultural history and landscape of Seoul in the workshop’s interrogation, learning, and debate of UbiComp technologies and strategies for environmental awareness, sustainability, and grassroots efforts.  The potential value of the workshop is in bringing together passionate practitioners into a shared forum to debate the important issues emerging in this rapidly evolving field.  To that end the workshop format balances a small degree of individual presentations of work with a more involved series of collective brainstorming activities and design interventions.  The workshop will serve as a “safe place” to explore this design space away from the pressures of “being right” and “bad ideas” and leverage the location of Seoul as a palimpsest for active learning and exploration of this important topic.  The overall outcome will be a series of new design sketches and approaches to guiding UbiComp research forward in harmony with the issues of the environment and sustainability

Participation and Registration

We welcome submissions from individuals who are passionate about the interaction between UbiComp and environmental sustainability. A background in sustainability is welcome but is not required to participate in this workshop. We welcome submissions from researchers, practitioners, and students from both academia and industry. Authors of accepted papers are expected to register. In general, one author from each accepted submission must participate and register for the workshop.

Submission Content and Format

We kindly ask prospective participants to submit a position paper (2-4 pages total, in English) related to one of the topics of interest to Eric Paulos at eric@paulos.net by Friday 27th June 2008. Each submission should include a short biography stating the author’s background and motivation for attending the workshop. Papers will be read by a review committee and selected on the basis of relevance, originality and impact. Accepted position papers will appear in the UbiComp 2008 Adjunct Proceedings. Please note that the workshop papers should follow the 2-column ACM SIGCHI format. This is a new format for the UbiComp conference and also used for full papers this year. Acceptance notifications will be sent by 25th July 2008.


Eric Paulos ~~ Intel Research Berkeley (USA)
Director, Urban Atmospheres, Intel Research Berkeley, USA. Interests: urban computing, social telepresence, robotics, physical computing, interaction design, persuasive technologies, intimate media, sasquatch.

Marcus Foth ~~ Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia and 2007 Visiting Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute, UK. Interests: urban informatics, master-planned communities, social computing, social networks, triple bottom line sustainability. wombats.

Christine Satchell ~~ The University of Melbourne (Australia)
Christine's research is concerned with understanding the social and cultural nuances of everyday life in order to inform the design of new technology. She is a Senior Researcher at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and an Honorary Research Fellow with the Interaction Design Group at The University of Melbourne. Christine is currently working on a three year project at QUT called ‘Swarms for Urban Villages: New Media Design to Augment Social Networks of Residents in Inner-City Developments’ and is the Technical Program Co-chair for OZCHI 2008. lobster.

Younghui Kim ~~ Hongik University (South Korea)
Professor of Digital Media Design, School of the Art and Design, Hongik University, Korea. Co-Founder, Missing Pixel, New York. Interests: interactive fashion art, wearable computing, interaction design, interactive storytelling, smart textile, socially influenced design, frogs.

Paul Dourish ~~ UC Irvine (USA)
Professor of Informatics (and Computer Science and Anthropology), and Core Faculty, Program in Arts, Computation and Engineering, University of California, Irvine. Interests: ethnography, cultural theory, ubiquitous computing, HCI, media arts, haggis.

Jaz Hee-jeong Choi ~~ Queensland University of Technology (Australia)
PhD Candidate, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Interests: play / fun, urban environment and computing, social networking, Asia, creativity, giraffes.