Prato CIRN Conference Oct 28-30 2013, Monash Centre, Prato Italy:Nexus, Confluence, and Difference: Community Archives meets Community Informatics

The Prato CIRN Conference Program Proceeding Oct 28-30 2013, Monash Centre, Prato Italy:Nexus, Confluence, and Difference: Community Archives meets Community Informatics are now now online.

Conference 2013 Resources

While all the presentation slots are now filled, we of course encourage your participation at the event. You can register online via

Emerging themes from our conference (closing plenary notes)

  • Top-down thinking to see the broader system interconnectedness AND bottom-up participatory action to achieve local, immediate objectives
  • Participatory action/activism to address injustice cuts across many of our research agendas
  • Highlight stories of confronting power, privilege/supremacy, & oppression
    • 2012: Ann Milne
    • 2013: Jennifer O’Neal
  • Inspirational work, especially from the emerging generation of scholars
    • Michelle Caswell’s best paper
    • Anna, Lindsay, Patrick, and Linlin, PhD papers that ALL received recognition
    • David and LAN Houses
    • The sense-making panel
  • There clearly are intersecting points of research
    • Discovering this week that at some point we had began informally doing CA or CI
    • Graeme & Kirsty’s presentation merging citizen science, CI & CA
    • Research Roundtable
  • Probable outputs from conference
    • Learned/learning from each others presentations and papers
    • New colleagues/small collaborations
    • The big, transformative research project
    • Working group to create a “Framework for community informatics education, practice, and research”, a broadly, jointly authored manifesto of values
      • Especially informed by work of Anne, Micelle, and the PACG
      • For education, by practitioners (inside & out of academia), formal research
  • Outcomes & Impacts?

Conference Call

In 2013 the Prato Conference is being jointly organised by CIRN, the Center for Information as Evidence, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and the Centre for Organisational and Social Informatics at Monash University. It will explore the rich synergy of experiences and viewpoints amongst Community Informatics and Community Archives researchers.

Community Informatics is primarily concerned with improving the wellbeing of people and their communities, through more effective use of ICTs. Community Informatics foregrounds social change and transformative action in emergent social-technical relationships rather than prediction and control. This orientation also has much in common with Development Informatics.

Community-centric archival research, education and practice are concerned with empowering communities in support of such desirable objectives as democracy, human and civil rights, self-determination, sustainable development, and social inclusion. Recordkeeping and archiving are fundamental infrastructural components supporting community information, self-knowledge and memory needs, thus contributing to resilient communities and cultures.

The 2012 Prato Conference was the first time that people from Community Informatics and Community Archives came together. Much of the research that CI people were reporting was of great interest to archivists because it addressed memory and identity infrastructures and how technologies can support them. New approaches to archival research, education and practice that support community-based scholarship provide an alternative lens for looking at Community Informatics research, education and practice. Community Informatics researchers gained new insights into the characteristics, motivations and interests of diverse, often underrepresented communities.

2012 Conference participants identified a strong nexus between the two areas of research in which closer interaction could result in significant support for each other’s activity. There also appears to be a strong alignment in values around the principles of transformative research, social justice, and giving voices to those who currently lack a voice.

Some topics to consider for conference papers, and presentations or special workshops.

  • How can Community Informatics and Community Archives inform each other?
  • How might such cross-fertilization or convergence (professional, practical, conceptual) be encouraged?
  • The dark side of community activity; dealing with suspicion, trauma, failure or hostility and their legacies.
  • How do we use and tell stories ethically and effectively?
  • Addressing incommensurability in community-based research.
  • Community-aware management, storage and ownership of community data and technology.
  • Participatory methodologies in Community Informatics and Community Archives research
  • The relationship of other frameworks such as Citizenship Journalism or Community-based research to Community Informatics and Community Archives
  • Working with the hard end of the Information Sciences.

Other Papers and Presentations

We also welcome papers (refereed, non-referred, works in progress) in any other area of Community Informatics, Development Informatics, Community Archives and related disciplines. We embrace interdisciplinarity!

PhD colloquium

We also encourage PhD students in any of these disciplines to participate in the PhD symposium. Many students have gained much from participation in this activity.

Anne Gilliland, UCLA
Steve Thompson, Teesside University, UK

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:
  1. Full papers for blind peer review (up to 6000 words).
  2. Works in progress and more speculative pieces (reviewed and selected, but not peer reviewed).
  3. Non refereed papers, including practitioner reports (up to 6000 words).
  4. PhD papers which provide an outline of current or proposed PhD research (between 2-3000 words, including references)
  5. Proposals for workshops or panel discussions.
  6. Proposals for posters.

Conference papers for all categories MUST use the conference format.

  • Call for papers & proposals. Expressions of interest conference website. Abstracts/papers can only be submitted through the conference database which will be made available. Submit the abstract in the online form, not as an attachment. Abstracts up to 550 words.
By May 15
  • Acceptance/modification/ rejection notices
As soon as possible thereafter
  • Full papers and abstracts for all streams due
31 July 2013
  • Referee reports to participants by
1 September 2013
  • Final version of papers, based on peer review and program committee decisions due
1 October September 2013
  • Conference proceedings
  • Registrations
Available from 1 July
  • Conference
  • Post-conference ½ day workshop (more information to be posted)
October 31 October 2013

Information about Prato, travel, accommodation

Please see the Monash Centre 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 Monash website. 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 accommodation information The centre of Prato is quite small. Students can stay at the Calamai Riverside Apartments. Refer to this information.

For other information, contact prato2013 AT fastmail dot fm

All travel & participation decisions are made at your own risk and the organizers accept no responsibility. The program is also subject to change. Please also note that obtaining visas (if you require one) is your responsibility. If you require a letter from the Conference, this should be organised well in advance of travel, and payment must be received beforehand.

Conference Chairs (partial)
  • Sue McKemmish, Monash University
  • Anne Gilliland, UCLA
  • Andrew Flinn, University College London
  • Tom Denison, Monash University
  • Aldo de Moor, CommunitySense, Netherlands
  • Larry Stillman, Monash University
  • Nicola Strizzolo, Univ. of Udine, Italy
  • Manuela Farinosi (Chair, PhD colloquium)

Committee (partial)

  • Patricia Arnold, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany
  • Fiorella de Cindio, University of Milan, Italy
  • Mike Arnold, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Ann Bishop, Univ. of Illinois, USA
  • Gunilla Bradley, Royal Institute of Tech., Sweden
  • Peter Day, University of Brighton, UK
  • Wallace Chigona, Univ. of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Barbara Craig, Victoria Univ. of Wellington, NZ
  • Vesna Dolnicar, University of Lubljana, Slovenia
  • Alison Elliot, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Manuela Farinosi, University of Udine, Italy
  • Leopoldina Fortunati, University of Udine, Italy
  • Ricardo Gomez, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Marlien Herselman, Meraka Institute, CSIR, South Africa
  • Sarai Lastra, Turabo Univ., Puerto Rico
  • Mike Martin, University of Newcastle, UK
  • Harekrishna Misra,Institute of Rural Management, Anand India.
  • TJ McDonald, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Mauro Sarrica, La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
  • Douglas Schuler, The Public Sphere Project, The Evergreen State College, 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,Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, México
  • Gilson Schwartz, Univ. São Paulo, Brazil
  • Andy Williamson, Future Digital, UK
  • Martin Wolske, University of Illinois, USA

Conference Administration

  • Larry Stillman, Monash University, Australia
  • Amalia Sabiescu, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland
  • Nemanja Memarovic, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland

Conference Costs

Earlybird registrations range from AUD400 for students/developing countries to $570 for full price. The great banquet is approximately AUD50 extra. Even the Italians who attend the event think that the catering is first class—it really is, and adds to the enjoyment of the event in a great location.