Welcome to the Technology and Social Action Hot Seat

Paula Graham is in the Hotseat

VCS organisations should be as concerned about appropriate information technology practices as they are about appropriate employment, educational, or environmental practices.

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Previous Hotseats have asked


Hannah Beardon's picture
" Participation is an increasingly popular concept, used as shorthand to refer to a wide range of practices of varying depth and quality. As the popularity increases, what perhaps begins as commitment to a participatory way of doing things can translate into extractive consultation as it becomes part of bureaucratic planning models and institutional policies. Meanwhile, many of the underlying values and motives of participatory processes, and the link with power relations, go unexamined. "


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Marc's Picture

"Everywhere you look, groups of people are coming together to share with one another, work together, or take some kind of public action. For the first time in history, we have tools that truly allow for this." So the question we are using to start the online discussion is - Will Web 2.0 be the tool set we need to change the world? "

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"How do we evaluate our impact?

Evaluation is often seen as a necessary evil: a requirement for financial support. It can often feel like that, certainly. When we’re trying to understand how to use novel technologies, though, evaluation can be an important part of the learning process. After all, it’s the opportunity for us to understand technologies ‘in the wild’: and our ‘wild’ is often very different from that of business or government whence many technologies originate. How then, can we organise evaluation as a learning process, in this case, about technology?"

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Andy's Picture

"What do we need to design ?

Practical Design for Social Action should focus on procuring and managing technology rather than designing the technology itself..."


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Alan's Picture

"..Free software, plus commodity hardware, plus the electromagnetic spectrum that nobody owns, can build a robust, deep, meshed structured communications network, that can be built out in poor parts of the world, far more rapidly than the 20th century infrastructures of broadcast technology and telephone ..."

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