British HCI 2016

Quite a few of us from the DJCAD studio attended British HCI, including  Nick Taylor, Daniel Herron and I (Katerina Gorkovenko). As part of the programme I took part in a day long workshop which explores the future of TV, a Doctoral Networking Day during which we “bonded” through the art of paper critique, and 3 days of talks by various people.

11737888_995233493841126_8137788978188734753_nCritiquing a paper was helpful in understand all the aspects that make a good paper. The main points we discussed included how a literature review can help develop the narrative of a paper, what the the appropriate ways to include quantitative data, and how to make sure we exclude our biases when writing.

One of the more noteworthy keynotes was Leston Bandeira’s presentation about her work on the Digital Democracy report and the Parliament’s struggle with the transition into the digital age.

11760165_995233480507794_4275786443156873986_nAnother impressive talk in the conference was related was Katrin Jakobsdottir’s keynote about how Iceland is on the path to creating it’s new constitution. I really enjoyed it because they used a very interesting, progressive, people centred approach to tackling the problem. In short the story is as follows – After the global economic recession of 2008 Iceland was one of the few countries that realized that the constitution they have does not protect it’s citizens and their money in an adequate way. To resolve the issue they planned the creation of a new constitution, which would be created with the help of the country’s citizens. They began by randomly recruiting 1000 people to come to a big town hall meeting, which looked more like a work shop. There they explored key areas that a new constitution would have to address. Then a much smaller committee of volunteers was created that would create the first draft of the document. Five hundred people expressed interest in being part of it. The country voted on who would be a part the final committee which had a bit of a side effect – the chosen ones were mainly Icelandic celebrities. I really liked this effect of the participatory approach that they had chosen because as I see in my own research. People tend to be interested in what people who already have political power say about issues.

Overall Lincoln was a lovely location for a conference:

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