Web alliance for Regreening in Africa

WebSci’20 Workshop: Digital (In)Equality, Digital Inclusion, Digital Humanism, online 07-07-2020

WebSci’20 Workshop: Digital (In)Equality, Digital Inclusion, Digital Humanism

Read the ACM WebSci’20 DigDivDigHum Workshop Final Proceedings: [PDF]. Or download the full companion proceedings from the WebSci’20 website. The full recorded video presentations of the DigDivDigHum workshop are now available.

The WebSci’20 main conference proceedings can be accessed at the official site.

From its inception, the World Wide Web endeavours to be an open and free space for all for information and knowledge sharing and informed public democratic debate (see for example the ACM Turing Award lecture by Tim Berners-Lee at WebSci’18), in other words, “to serve humanity”. Still, there are many barriers and obstacles to this ideal, a situation commonly characterized as the Digital Divide.

Several billion people especially in the Global South do not have access to Internet/Web for reasons of lacking (affordable) infrastructure, poverty, low literacy, lack of digital skills, language, etc., and are thus digitally excluded.

But “the fringes of the Web” are not just a matter of the Global South. In the Global North, despite being technologically “advanced”, we also see severe digital inequalities and power disparities, in part for the same reasons and in part due to the Web being exploited as a centralized surveillance and money-making machine, controlled by big parties such as states and big corporations, thus creating further inequalities and exclusion.

In this workshop, part of the ACM WebSci’20 Conference, we aim to bring together ongoing research on the Web and the Digital Divide and on what to do about it. Apart from empirically grounded (case) studies and theoretical analyses of mechanisms behind digital inequalities, we also seek,  in view of recent initiatives such as Digital Humanism or Tim Berners Lee’s SOLID initiative, programmatic or solution design-oriented work from multiple disciplines, and concrete experiences on what scientists and professionals can do to help redress matters of digital inequality and exclusion. We encourage work rooted in the Global South, as both topics of interest for and authors from the Global South are underrepresented in Web Science, but also welcome work addressing matters of the Digital Divide and underprivileged communities in the Global North.

Workshop programme of the online event (the program time is given in UK time: UTC+1)

Keynote speakers : Mirjam de Bruijn, Richard Heeks, Leen Zevenbergen

Session A: 08h00-09h30 UTC+1 (chair: Hans Akkermans) See other timezones.

(08h00) Anna Bon and Hans Akkermans. (VU Amsterdam, NL). Digital (In)Equality, Digital Inclusion, Digital Humanism. (intro) [PDF] [Presentation slides].

(08h05) Keynote: Leen Zevenbergen (B Lab Europe). AI for Sustainable Development: What’s the Business Case?  [PDF] [Presentation slides] [Video].

(08h40) Chu Hiang Goh and Narayanan Kulathuramaiyer. (Universiti Sains Malaysia & Universiti Malaysia Sarawak). Developing an Indigenous Cultural Values Based Emoji Messaging System: A Socio-Technical Systems Innovation Approach. [PDF] [Presentation slides].

(08h58)Ms Shalini and Ankit Tewari.(Ministry of HR Development, India & Universitat Barcelona, Spain). Sustainable Education in India through Artificial Intelligence: Challenges and Opportunities. [PDF] [Presentation slides].

(09h16) Anna Bon, Jaap Gordijn and Cheah Wai Shiang. (VU Amsterdam, NL & Universiti Malaysia Sarawak). Digital Inclusion Requires a Business Model Too. [PDF] [Presentation slides].

Session B: 10h00-12h00 UTC+1 (chair: Victor de Boer)

(10h00) Keynote: Richard Heeks (University of Manchester, UK). From the Digital Divide to Digital Justice in the Global South.  [PDF] [Presentation slides].

(10h35) Munyaradzi Mawere and Gertjan van Stam (Greater Zimbabwe University). Data Sovereignty, a Perspective from Zimbabwe. [PDF] [Presentation slides].

(10h53) Amelia Morris, Lizzie Coles-Kemp and Will Jones. (Royal Holloway University of London, UK). Digitalised Welfare: Systems For Both Seeing and Working With Mess.[PDF] [Presentation slides].

(11h11) Ea Draffan, Chaohai Ding, Mike Wald and Russell Newman. (University of Southampton, UK). Multilingual Symbolic Support for Low Levels of Literacy on the Web. [PDF] [Presentation slides].

(11h27) Francis Dittoh, Victor de Boer, Anna Bon, Wendelien Tuyp and André Baart. (University for Development Studies UDS, Ghana & VU Amsterdam, NL). Mr. Meteo: Providing Climate Information for the Unconnected. [PDF] [Presentation slides].

Session C: 14h00-15h30 UTC+1 (chair: Anna Bon)

(14h00) Keynote: Mirjam de Bruijn. (Leiden University, NL). ICTs, Social Media and Tendencies of Radicalisation in the Sahel. [PDF] [Presentation slides].

(14h35) Monica Eva Pini. (Universidad Nacional de San Martín UNSAM, Argentina). Digital Inequality in Education in Argentina – How the Pandemic of 2020 Increased Existing Tensions. [PDF] [Presentation slides].

(14h53) Robert Bwana, André Baart, Victor de Boer, Francois Lenfant, Néne Morisho, Michelle Westermann-Behaylo and Marcel Worring. (University of Amsterdam, NL & Pole Institute, DR Congo). Developing a Crowdsourcing Application for Responsible Production in Africa. [PDF] [Presentation slides].

(15h11) Gertjan van Stam. (Masvingo, Zimbabwe). Power Inequities: Observations on the Development of Information and Communication Technologies, from an African Place. [PDF] [Presentation slides].

Workshop Co-Chairs

Hans Akkermans, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Anna Bon, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Programme Committee

Francis Dittoh, University for Development Studies UDS, Tamale, Ghana

Narayanan Kulathuramaiyer, University of Malaysia in Sarawak UNIMAS, Malaysia

Johari Abdullah, University of Malaysia in Sarawak UNIMAS, Malaysia

Mónica Pini, Universidad Nacional de San Martín UNSAM, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Adèle Botha, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR, Pretoria, South Africa

Katharina Kinder-Kurlanda, GESIS and University of Koblenz, Germany

Stephane Boyera, SBC4D, Toulouse, France

Gossa Lô, Bolesian, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Nana Baah Gyan, Central University, Accra, Ghana

Marlien Herselman, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR, Pretoria, South Africa

Hannes Werthner, TU Wien, Vienna, Austria

Jaap Gordijn, TVE The Value Engineers, Soest, The Netherlands

Cheah Wai Shiang, University of Malaysia in Sarawak UNIMAS, Malaysia

André Baart, Bolesian BV, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Victor de Boer, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Lynda Hardman, CWI, The Netherlands

Ed Tan, Copenhagen University, Denmark

Christophe Guéret, Accenture, Dublin, Ireland


The workshop organizers can be reached through email to the co-chairs: Hans Akkermans (E: Hans.Akkermans@akmc.nl) or Anna Bon (E: a.bon@vu.nl)