Date: June 3, 2009
Gerhard Fischer — University of Colorado

A culture’s penchant for participation is not dictated by technology; rather, it is the result of changes in human behavior and social organization including innovative design, adoption, appropriation, and adaptation of technologies to their needs. In this talk, Gerhard will share some of his experiences designing and assessing socio-technical environments for cultures of participation. His approach is grounded in the basic assumption that innovative technological developments are necessary for participation cultures, but they are not sufficient. Socio-technical systems are needed because the deep and enduring changes of societies are not just technological, but social and cultural as well.

Throughout the evening, Gerhard will encourage the audience to explore two themes: meta-design (a framework aimed at defining social and technical infrastructures in which new forms of collaborative design can take place) and social creativity (focused on harnessing the complex problem-solving power of our interactions with other people and shared artifacts).

See the slides from Understanding, Fostering, and Supporting Cultures of Participation.

About the Speaker

Gerhard Fischer is a Professor of Computer Science, a Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science, and the Director of the Center for Lifelong Learning and Design (L3D) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a member of the Computer Human Interaction (CHI) Academy. His research interests include learning, working, and collaborating with new media; human-computer interaction; cognitive science; assistive technologies; and cross-disciplinary collaboration and education.

Over the last twenty years, Gerhard has pioneered and developed innovative conceptual frameworks and socio-technical environments for distributed intelligence, social creativity, and meta-design. In these areas he has published extensively, directed research projects, applied the conceptual frameworks to education, founded new research initiatives, and advised organizations in reinventing themselves for the information age.