All posts for the month December, 2013

I was invited to give a talk in a second year class in Kibbutzim College (סמינר הקיבוצים) today. The college is a teacher’s seminar, graduating students with a B.Ed. The class I talked to is dedicated to sustainability, and is part of a concentration on design (students can have their B.Ed with different foci). The invite came from Yair Engel, who is an industrial designer, the representative of Cradle to Cradle in Israel, a board member of the Heschel Sustainability Center, and an all around great guy.

The talk touched upon CIRS’ research agenda and functioning as a “living lab”. The students were very impressed by the building’s net positive features and “feel”. I also talked about the rationale for public engagement on sustainability, described some of the ways that the City of Vancouver was engaging the public on its plan to become the greenest city in the world by 2020, and demonstrated MetroQuest, a sustainability decision-support tool which was one of my dissertation’s case studies.

Students were mostly engaged, curious and opinionated (who would have guessed that Israelis are opinionated?…) After meeting Yair and other members of the Israeli sustainability community in this trip, I’m starting to think that maybe there is hope for a more sustainable Israel.

CHI 2014 is in Toronto. Although the deadline for submitting papers has passed, I’m thinking about applying for this workshop:

The SIGCHI HCI & Sustainability Community will host a workshop as part of CHI 2014, the annual Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. This year’s conference will be held in Toronto, Canada, 26 Apr–1 May. The workshop will be held on either 26 Apr or 27 Apr. This page will be updated as soon as the date is decided.

Our one-day workshop will gather new and established HCI & Sustainability researchers to:

  • assess what we have learned in the last eight years of HCI & Sustainability research;
  • address conceptual inconsistencies in the field; and
  • develop a coherent framework for orienting and evaluating future work.

Eight questions will orient discussion:

  1. What is sustainability?
  2. What do we know about how sustainability might be achieved?
  3. What crucial questions remain?
  4. How can HCI help achieve sustainability?
  5. How should HCI & Sustainability research be evaluated?
  6. How can we use critiques of past work to develop more productive approaches?
  7. How can we better integrate knowledge from outside HCI?
  8. How can we encourage work that contributes to practical sustainability efforts?

We will produce a collective statement answering these questions and a set of guidelines and questions for orienting and evaluating new work. These will constitute the first version of an evolving community resource.

More here.