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Designing Participedia: A Collaborative Research Platform

Amber Frid-Jimenez, Jesi Carson, Alanna Scott, Paninee Khantidhara, Dethe Elza

A transformation of democratic governance is occurring as public participation empowers citizens to have their voices heard beyond the vote. Participedia is a research community and online crowdsourcing platform designed to document and share emerging knowledge about participatory democracy. Participedia’s women led Design & Technology (D&T) team used participatory design (PD) and feminist human computer interaction (HCI) strategies to evaluate Participedia’s formerly proprietary website and design and build a new, open source platform. By shifting Participedia to an open source technological approach, the D&T team deliberately created opportunities for women and students and initiated new collaborations through channels like Github. Key design improvements, such as improved accessibility and reducing bias in the data model of Participedia, further align the project with feminist values of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). The D&T team is part of a new generation of designers and developers contributing to interdisciplinary research through design and technology for social good.


PD and The Challenge of AI in Health-Care

Christopher H. Gyldenkærne, Jesper Simonsen, Troels Mønsted, Gustav From

In its promise to contribute to considerable cost savings and im proved patient care through efficient analysis of the tremendous amount of data stored in electronic health records (EHR), there is currently a strong push for the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) in health-care. We identify, through a study of AI being used to predict patient no-show’s, that for the AI to gain full potential there lies a need to balance the introduction of AI with a proper focus on the patients and the clinicians’ interests. We call for a Participatory Design (PD) approach to understand and reconfigure the socio-technical setup in health-care, especially where AI is being used on EHR data that are manually being submitted by health-care personnel.


Worker Empowerment in the Era of Sharing Economy Platforms in Global South

Pietari Keskinen, Heike Winschiers-Theophilus

In this exploratory paper we discuss the relation between empowerment and global sharing economy in a Global Southern context. We distinguish two primary meanings of ’empowerment’ namely,the liberation from oppression and the ability to act. We inspect working for sharing economies from both angles. A critical factor for assessing whether sharing economies are empowering for global South workers is the change it brings. If the platform work offers opportunities for formerly unemployed, the change is considered as empowering. However, it is possible, that these platform jobs instead replace the traditional, more protected employments, in which case the change is considered dis-empowering. We exemplify our arguments with a contextual inquiry into community-based tourism in a small village Tanzania.


Platformization of the public sector: Assessing the space of possibilities for participation

Tangni C. Dahl-Jørgensen, Elena Parmiggiani

Digitalization processes are emerging as a promising avenue to elicit participation in large-scale platforms. In the public sector, platformization efforts call for deeper insight into how they shape the space of possibility for citizen involvement through decision linkages. Based on an ongoing exploratory study of the early-stage development of a digital platform at a Norwegian municipality, we identify three core challenges to participation in platformization processes: the municipality experts’ views on participation, the cultivation of the installed base on the governance and technical level, and opportunities for scaling up the platform. We analyze how these core challenges impact the space of possibility for participation.

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