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prato community informatics conference
Vision and Reality in Community Informatics
CIRN -DIAC Conference: Prato, Italy 27-29 October 2010
Centre for Community Networking Research
University of Washington
Public Sphere Project
Evergreen State College
Early-bird registrations are now open
Take advantage of the early-bird registration for the conference for regular, developing country, or student registrations. Register
Call for Participation
We are seeking submissions from academics, practitioners and PhD students for a conference at the Monash University Centre, Prato Italy (near Florence). The Centre for Community Networking Research, Monash, in conjunction with the Community Informatics Research Network, has held many highly successful events since 2003 in Prato, as well as associated workshops over the years, in the UK, France, and Portugal.
The Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing (DIAC)conference has been convened approximately every other year since 1987. Originally sponsored by Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) and now by the Public Sphere Project, the conference has always addressed the intersection of social and the technological spheres. Five books and two special sections the Communications of the ACM have been published based on DIAC conferences. This year, we are pleased to note that the DIAC conference is combining forces with CIRN to convene another informative and convivial conference in Prato!
The conference has an increasing representation of delegates from Francophone and Spanish-speaking countries, and we welcome your attendance. While the official conference language is English, if there are sufficient papers for either language, specific sessions will be arranged.
The Prato campus provides an exceptional environment for academics, students, practitioners or policy-makers to exchange ideas. We emphasize participatory processes in the conference. The Centre is just off the main piazza of a small Tuscan town and is close to Italian transport hubs.
The Prato Duomo/Cathedral
Community Informatics, like many other areas of social intervention and development, deals with the real world, which in spite of all the effort put into planning and thinking about how things are meant to happen, things never quite work out as they planned. Dealing with the unexpected is well known, recognised, and even expected in business enterprises, but often, in community settings, the unexpected is seen as risky, and sometimes, even evidence of failure.
Community Informatics is the theory and practice of empowering communities with information and communication technologies. There is a widespread expectation that Community Informatics will cultivate civic intelligence, enhance democracy, develop social capital, build communities, spur economies and empower individuals and groups, and result in many different forms of positive social change. Community Informatics, in bringing together communities and technologies, works across at least three dimensions, though there may be others which are relevant
The Context and Values held by different stakeholders in Community Informatics
The Processes and Methodologies which are brought to bear in Community Informatics enterprises
The Systems (both technical and social) which influence Community Informatics and those which Community Informatics influences
The unexpected or unanticipated is sometimes the most valuable thing to come out of work with a community, and being able use that innovation is of great importance to communities, designers, researchers, and other concerned parties.What are remarkable examples of unexpected or unanticipated outcomes?
Why is a high value placed upon the achievement of safe and technocratic, quantitative goals, often at the expense of unexpected positive outcomes?
Is it a problem on the part of planners or the part of community, and why is this so?
What are the consequences of this emphasis on predictability?
What are the effects on creativity and the capacity to deal with the unexpected?
Are we expecting too much (or too little) of ICTs in communities, and conversely, are we expecting too much (or too little) of communities in their interaction with ICTs?
When the expected leads to major limitations or a project failure, how to we deal with this?
How could or should communities engage within themselves and with others to realistically prepare for 21st century challenges?
What technological and social processes are needed to cultivate civic intelligence in local communities?
What are the connections and differences between unanticipated technical events and unanticipated community or social effects and events? Are they easy to separate?
How can theorists, designers and communities become more response to dealing with unanticipated outcomes and developments in a project or program?
What bodies of theory and practice can be bring to bear to enlighten our interactions?
We seek papers and presentations from practitioners, policy-makers, PhD students, academics, artists, and journalists that fit within these three broad streams. If you believe that you have a paper or presentation that is outside the main themes or streams, but it still be of interest to the community informatics community, please submit it for consideration. Some questions to consider:
Planning CI: making room for the unexpected
What bodies of theory and practice help us to plan better, or are there other ways to approach the issue?
Where does planning begin and end? What limitations does planning sometimes have and how are they best addressed?
What different types of planning techniques and methods are relevant to community informatics? Do we need to design our own?
How do we make room for unanticipated positive and negative occurrences and outcomes in the planning process?
Can one plan for the unexpected and unanticipated?
Implementing CI: expecting the unexpected
How do we incorporate the positively unanticipated and unexpected into the implementation cycle?
What are best ways to do it, and convince our funders that things are not going haywire?
When the unanticipated results are negative, how do we cope?
Evaluating CI: learning from the unexpected
How can we evaluate the unexpected in ways that promote a positive and useful perception of the challenges of working in real community settings?
What are the difficulties in learning about the unexpected?
What particular evaluation theories and methodologies are of particular relevance to community informatics.
Prato at night
Dates and Processes
In order to enhance the quality of papers in all streams, Program Chairs will take an active role in guiding papers through the review process and deadlines will be adhered to.
The following kinds of papers are sought
Full papers for blind peer review (up to 10 pages, including references).
Works in progress and more speculative pieces (reviewed and selected, but not peer reviewed)
Non refereed papers, including practitioner reports (up to 10 pages, including references).
PhD papers which provide an outline of current or proposed PhD research (between 2-3000 words, including references
Proposals for workshops or panel discussions
Proposals for posters
There will be a conference proceedings and selected papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal of Community Informatics. Best prizes in refereed and PhD categories will be awarded.
If you wish to make a submission to the conference, the first step is to upload an abstract in response to the call to papers. Register yourself (if you do not already have an account at
and after completing personal information, upload an abstract of up to 500 words via the 'Your submissions' button.
Please only use the text box
. Do not upload an abstract as a document. It will not be read by the Committee.
When your paper is written, please ensure that is it in the required conference format (see zip file below). Papers can
be uploaded to the conference registration site:
in .doc (NOT docx), or .rtf, unless otherwise directed. The system will not accept PDF files. Do not send unsolicited abstracts or papers to the general conference email address as they may not be acknowledged or progress. Please follow all instructions to avoid mutual annoyance or delays.
Do not submit draft papers
If you are unsure about how to submit a paper (for example how do deal with in-progress fieldwork), please contact your program chair. A chair will be allocated to your paper.
Call for papers & proposals
Expressions of interest up to 500 words via conference website.
Submitted proposals for workshops will also be contacted by members of the program committee
1 April 2010
Full papers and abstracts for all streams due
1 June 2010
Papers in the peer review section reviewed by 15 August.
Referee reports to participants by
15 August 2010
Final version of papers, based on peer review and program committee decisions due
15 September 2010
Conference proceedings CD
Available at the conference
Available from 1 July
Registration, Costs and Travel Information
The Conference cost will be approximatley €380 for early-bird registrations and a moderately priced conference banquet will also be held. Substantial registration concessions will be available for students and people from developing countries. Hotel and other accommodations are reasonably priced.
All travel and accommodation arrangements are the delegate's responsibility. Visa arrangements are also the delegate's responsibility. Sufficient time should be allocated to obtain a visa. Please be aware that visa requirements often require hotel and other required expenses to be pre-paid. Full payment for the conference must be made before any letters are issued to assist with via applications. Registrations for the early-bird rate will be available mid-year.
Please be aware of
for Italy.The relevant category on the site Tourist Visa. Visas are not required for citizens of the US, Canada, many countries in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and a number of other countries. Please check the Tourist Visa category on the web site for information on visa for citizens of countries not listed above.
Accommodation, Tourism, Travel
Photo near the Monash Centre: Teresa Rivera
Please see the
for general information. Additional travel and tourism information will be made available as the conference nears. The Centre is just off the main piazza of a small Tuscan town. It is close to Italian transport hubs including Pisa and Florence airports. The location of the Monash Centre is described on the
. The nearest airports are Pisa and Florence airports, and you can get to Prato by train from Rome in about 2 ½ hours. Please note that we are not in a position to recommend particular airlines or airports, or to provide train schedules. See
for train information.
There are many reasonably priced hotels, and many people stay at the Flora or Giardino Hotels. Some semi-serviced apartments may be available at Residence Manassei or Residence Accademia. Refer to the Monash Website for
The centre of Prato is quite small. Students can stay at the Calamai Riverside Apartments. Refer to this
For detailed local travel information, use the following file.
Ricardo Gomez, University of Washington
Graeme Johanson, Monash University
Larry Stillman, Monash University
Ricardo Gomez, University of Washington
Douglas Schuler, The Public Sphere Project, The Evergreen State College
Larry Stillman, Monash University
Program Committee (partial)
Aldo de Moor, CommunitySense, Netherlands
Peter Day, University of Brighton, UK
Fiorella de Cindio, University of Milan, Italy
LSIS Faculté des Sciences et Techniques de Saint-Jérôme, France
Mike Arnold, University of Melbourne, Australia
Ann Bishop, Univ. of Illinois, USA
Gunilla Bradley, Royal Institute of Tech., Sweden
Wallace Chigona, Univ. of Cape Town, South Africa
Barbara Craig, Victoria Univ. of Wellington, NZ
Tom Denison, Monash University, Australia
Vesna Dolnicar, University of Lubljana
Alison Elliot, Charles Darwin University, Australia
Manuela Farinosi, University of Udine, Italy
Phil Fawcet Microsoft Research/University of Washington, USA
Leopoldina Fortunati, University of Udine, Italy
Marlien Herselman, Meraka Institute, CSIR, South Africa
Sarai Lastra, Turabo Univ., Puerto Rico
Mike Martin, University of Newcastle, UK
William McIver, Jr, National Research Council Canada
Marie Ouvrard, Laboratoire des Sciences d'Information et des Systèmes, Marseilles, France
Justin Smith, Washington State University, USA
Eduardo Villanueva Mansilla,Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Steve Thompson, Teesside University, UK
Will Tibben, University of Wollongong, Australia
Janet Toland, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
Emiliano Trere, Univ. of Udine, Italy
Gilson Schwartz, Univ. São Paulo, Brazil
Jacques Steyn, Monash Univ., South Africa
Andy Williamson, Hansard Society, UK
Martin Wolske, University of Illinois, USA
Sponsors (so far...)
Centre for Community Networking Research
University of Washington
The Public Sphere Project
Turabo University, Puerto Rico
University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Conference inquiries should be directed to Larry Stillman, prato2010 AT fastmail.fm but please use the information above for specific information about travel and accommodation information.
Tales of the Unexpected
, Fair Use.
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.Other images, Larry Stillman, Theresa Ma
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