iConference 2020 will feature three plenary presentations, each anchored by a noteworthy keynote speaker. This article, which is the first in a series, introduces the talk by Dr. Lena Dencik.
Dr. Dencik is Associate Professor (Reader) at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture at Cardiff University, UK and is Co-Founder of the Data Justice Lab. She has published widely on digital media and the politics of data and is currently Principal Investigator of the DATAJUSTICE project funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. Her publications include “Media and Global Civil Society” (Palgrave, 2012), “Worker Resistance and Media” (Peter Lang, 2015), and “Digital Citizenship in a Datafied Society” (Polity, 2018).
Dr. Dencik’s presentation is titled Civic Participation in the Datafied Society. "The use of data and algorithmic processes for decision-making is now a growing part of social life and helps determine decisions that are central to our ability to participate in society, such as welfare, education, crime, work, and if we can cross borders” she explains. “Citizens are increasingly assessed, profiled, categorized and ‘scored’ according to data assemblages, their future behavior is predicted through data processing, and services are allocated accordingly.
"In a datafied society, state-citizen relations become quasi-automated and dependent on digital infrastructures. This raises significant challenges for democratic processes, active citizenship and public engagement.
"In this talk I will engage with the question of advancing civic participation in a context of rapid technological and social transformation, considering also experiments in new democratic practices to ensure legitimacy, transparency, accountability and intervention in relation to data-driven governance. In so doing, I will outline emerging terrains for developing civic agency in a datafied society."
iConference 2020 takes place March 23-26 in Borås, Sweden. More information about this year’s keynote speakers can be found on the conference website, along with registration information. iConference 2020 is a presentation of the iSchools and is hosted this year by the University of Borås: Swedish School of Library and Information Science, and Oslo Metropolitan University: Department of Archivistics, Library and Information Science. Sponsors include the City of Borås and Monash University.