Wednesday, March 25th, 2020-
Friday, March 27th, 2020

Conference | IDIA 2020 organized by UNU-CS

The 11th International Development Informatics Association conference (IDIA2020) will take place in Macau from 25 – 27 March 2020. It is organized by the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society under the theme “The more things change …” Change is indeed the one constant in our lives. Over the years there has been major social, economic, political, and technological transformation around the world. How has the ICT4D field changed as a result; and how is it changing both in response to and in order to respond to the transforming technology and sustainable development landscape? What have been the substantial impacts, either positive or negative, of technology and ICT4D on the state of global poverty and inequality? What has worked, what has not worked, and what are the good practices in specific local contexts? And as new frontier technologies “promise” new solutions to old challenges across each of the Sustainable Development Goals, what is the critical evidence on the actual impacts of these technologies on sustainable development in both resource-constrained and wealthy societies? We invite researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the world interested in issues of technology and sustainable development, to participate in IDIA2020 and to make full paper or workshop submissions by 16th August 2019. We invite submissions of full papers of between 12 to 15 pages, formatted according to the Springer’s CCIS one-column page format template. Only original, unpublished, research papers in English can be considered. The technical program committee will evaluate papers on the basis of their originality, methodological rigour, significance, clarity, and relevance to the conference theme. We encourage submission of papers that draw out clear implications, and actionable guidance both to practitioners and policy makers within the ICT4D domain. Full papers will undergo a double blind, peer review by at least three reviewers with the possibility that accepted papers will be published in a Springer Communications in Computer and Information Science (CCIS) volume. CCIS is abstracted/indexed in DBLP, Google Scholar, EI-Compendex, Mathematical Reviews, SCImago, Scopus. CCIS volumes are also submitted for inclusion in ISI Proceedings. Previous years’ conference proceedings have been published in a Springer CCIS volume. Authors of accepted papers will be invited to submit 2-page policy briefs based on their paper. These will be reviewed by the conference organizers for possible inclusion in a United Nations University published policy brief volume. Website: https://www.idia2020.com/ Download the Call-for-Papers: Important Dates Paper submission: 16 August 2019 Notification of acceptance: 1 November 2019 Camera-ready papers submission: 13 December 2019 Conference: 25 – 27 March 2020
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time:

9AM - 6PM

location:
Casa Silva Mendes, Estrada do Engenheiro Trigo No 4,
Macau SAR, China

Monday, September 16th, 2019

Redeeming technology: can stuff be morally good?

Dr Mike Brownnutt, Associate Director from the Faith and Science Collaborative Research Forum of The University of Hong Kong, will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS)to give a talk on ethics in technology development. ABSTRACT We are used to the idea that people can be good or bad, but it is less obvious to see how an inanimate object –without desire or volition – can be morally good or bad. This talk, therefore, considers what it means to redeem, or even need to redeem, a thing. The things people make, from guns to phones to Coke cans, are designed to be used in particular ways. This inbuilt purpose is not value-free, and predisposes objects – deliberately or inadvertently – to be used in ways which are morally value-laden: you can use a gun as a paperweight, but you are using it wrong. The engineers and scientists who develop new technologies are in a unique position and have a unique responsibility, to be aware of the moral dimension of their work. This awareness can open new vistas for research. It enables us to move beyond the usual puzzles of finding how to make something faster, lighter, or cheaper, and ask how to make something which is, morally speaking, good. SHORT BIO Dr Mike Brownnutt obtained his first Master’s degree (MSci in physics) and his Ph.D. (in experimental quantum mechanics) from Imperial College London. Following this, he moved to Innsbruck, Austria, for eight years, firstly as a post-doctoral researcher and later as an Assistant Professor. He wrote his habilitation based on his research there, which centered on developing scalable architectures for quantum computers. Throughout this work, he held an abiding interest in the relationship between science and religion. He completed his second Master’s degree (MA in theology from the University of Chester) considering how faith is understood by various parties in discourse on the relationship between Christianity and science. Since 2015 he has worked at the University of Hong Kong, where he is Associate Director of the Faith and Science Collaborative Research Forum. His research focuses on the interrelationship between science and religion, particularly in Asian contexts.
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time:

2PM - 3PM

location:
UNU-CS

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

Chinese Tech’s Foray into the Emerging Asia: How to Foster Development Gains?

Dr. Yujia He from the Institute for Emerging Market Studies of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology will visit the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) to give a talk on Chinese tech investment in South-East Asia. ABSTRACT This research analyzes Chinese overseas investment in the information technology sectors in Southeast Asia and the implications for the host country’s sustainable development. Using the case of Indonesia, the region’s largest economy, the research finds that Chinese firms have shown increasing influence in developing the foundations of the digital economy, including Internet infrastructure, cross-border e-commerce, and digital financial services, yet the limited impact on tech transfer and local talent development. New technologies and business practices have also incurred socioeconomic issues, prompting the host country government to respond with new regulations and institutions. To maximize the benefits from Chinese tech investment, emerging economies need to enhance domestic regulatory frameworks, partner with industry in digital skills development, and promote international regulatory coordination. SHORT BIO Dr. Yujia He is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Emerging Market Studies (IEMS) at HKUST. Her areas of expertise are international political economy and science and technology policy. As a co-investigator of an IEMS project “Green and Smart or Black and Clumsy? Examining the role of Chinese investors in ASEAN’s sustainable development”, her current research focuses on Chinese high-tech sectors’ investment in Southeast Asia and the effect on the region’s development. She has published articles in the International Journal of Emerging Markets, Resources Policy, and policy briefs on cable investment, artificial intelligence, data privacy, and citizen science. Her work has also received funding from the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy, the University of Chicago Center in Beijing, the George Washington University Center for International Business Education and Research, and the Sam Nunn Security Program. She obtained her Ph.D. in International Affairs, Science and Technology from Georgia Tech and BS in Chemistry from Peking University.
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time:

2PM - 3PM

location:
UNU-CSMacau SAR China

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Do the next billion users need more innovation? Rethinking automation for the common good

  Abstract: The 21st century is marketed as the age of innovation. Sir John Chisholm, an expert on change management, declares that technology will change “the very future of the human race.” Ryan Allis— the current chairperson of Connect and Hive in San Francisco and an angel investor in twenty- five companies, including SpaceX, Elon Musk’s Mars project— provides a startup guide to ease us into this new era. All we need to do is reimagine “everything,” says Allis. With just “a laptop, a smartphone, and the cloud,” we can access any service anytime. While traditional institutions such as the educational system in low- income countries is regarded as a “stunning market failure” according to the likes of Matt Keller, Senior Director of Global Learning XPRIZE, the market “success” of new technology will step in and take its place. Smart technology will replace not-so-smart people. Humans, it seems, have become obstacles to their own betterment. Technology entrepreneurs today are busy making all-inclusive, self-contained autonomous apps for the next billion users –the majority of whom are outside the West and live in countries with weak institutions. Centralized reform should be discarded for personalized solutionism. Automation of self-help is the foundation of the innovation age. This talk will argue against this popular narrative and bring to question this laboratory approach to social progress – and why we have become more forgiving of technological failure than of human failure. Bio: Payal Arora is the author of several books including the Award-winning ‘The Leisure Commons: Spatial history of web 2.0,’ ‘Dot Com Mantra: Social Computing in the Central Himalayas,’ and the newly released ‘The Next Billion Users: Digital Life beyond the West’ with Harvard University Press. Much of her research focuses on global technology innovation and inequality. She has published over 50 papers in her field and has given 140 presentations across 79 cities in 31 countries, including a TEDx talk on the future of the internet. She has consulted for both the public and private sector including Hewlett Packard, Dutch Brewers, GE, Shell, and UNESCO and sits on several boards including the Facebook Advisory Committee, Columbia University Earth Institute’s Connect to Learn, and The World Women Global Council in New York. She has held Fellow positions at NYU, GE, Rio’s Institute of Technology and Society, and the University of Bremen. She has degrees from Harvard University (Masters in International Development Policy) and Columbia University (Doctorate in Language, Literacy & Technology). She is the Founder and Executive Director of a digital campaigning organization, Catalyst Lab, and is an Associate Professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
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time:

2PM - 3PM

location:
UNU-CS
Macau SAR China

Friday, July 5th, 2019

Homogenized and Localized: A Comparison of Smartphone Logs from Myanmar, China, and the United States

Abstract: Homogenization and localization are dual concepts describing how media technology is absorbed into the lives of different groups. In this paper, smartphones — as the predominant media technology of our era — are examined for signals of either phenomenon. We compare unique longitudinal records of smartphone activity collected at five-second intervals from Myanmar, China, and the United States. Our results show that both outcomes occur. We find that total hours of smartphone usage, the total frequency of smartphone usage, and the average duration of gaps between smartphone activity are all significantly different across locations, while the average duration of smartphone usage sessions, and the rapidity of smartphone usage sessions, are not significantly different across locations. We interpret these differences as signals of localization based on restraints and affordances, while similarity in session durations is interpreted as the homogenization of temporal usage decisions. Bio: Yingdan Lu (yingdan@stanford.edu) studies social media and political communication in the Department of Communication at Stanford University. Her research focuses on social media use, political activity and information inequality in authoritarian regimes. Methodologically, she combines different methods like text analysis, machine learning and deep learning with large datasets collected from social media and mobile phones to examine empirical questions. Screenomics Lab Starting from 2016, the Stanford Screenomics Lab has been building a framework to study moment-by-moment changes in how people use digital media by recording screenshots from personal digital devices every five seconds. To date, we have collected over 25 million screenshots from adults and children in the US, China, and Myanmar. The data are being used to study the role of new media in a breadth of areas including, for example, the influence of social media on politics and democracy, development of precision health diagnostics and interventions, the role of media in the lives of people living in poverty, and the development of intimate social relationships via media. For more information, feel free to check out our website: https://screenomics.stanford.edu. For other research projects, publications and working papers, here is the publication page of our lab: https://screenomics.stanford.edu/publications/.
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time:

11:30AM - 12:30AM

location:
T223, Tai Fung building, City University of Macau
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