Global Sensemaking

Tools for Dialogue and Deliberation on Wicked Problems

Simon Buckingham Shum launches HC4D

Simon launched HC4D (Human-Centred Computing for Climate Change Deliberation) earlier today with the following rallying call:

I don't need to say anything about the urgency of the problem facing us.

What I want to do is highlight an emerging activity stream tackling one of the most pressing challenges concerning the infrastructure we have for working together on contentious problems:

> What socio-technical infrastructure will enable diverse stakeholders to contribute, and contest in principled ways, their views on climate change issues?

> How can it be both usable and powerful, providing useful services (e.g. visualizations, summaries, alerts, connections and analyses of the debate) for different stakeholders?

Human-centred computing perspectives will unpack this "grand challenge" in many ways, but also need to talk to the other communities engaged with this or similar challenges, such as e-Democracy and Online Deliberation.

So, I'm running this flag up the mast to invite interest if you want to engage and coordinate efforts around the specific challenge of climate change.

As I write, I am about to head to the CHI 2008 Sensemaking Workshop, which is bringing together a fantastic spectrum of people, some of whom I hope will be interested in this: sensemaking methodologies and tools will be an integral part of the way in which evidence is martialled and deployed in deliberations.

I am also in discussions with several other groups working on large-scale deliberation and argumentation infrastructures, including David Price [DebateGraph], Jeff Conklin [Cognexus], Mark Klein [MIT CCI], Jerry Glen [Millennium Project, WFUNA], Ann Macintosh [U. Leeds], Mark Aakhus [U. Rutgers], Jack Park [SRI] and Chris Reed [U. Dundee].

I don't know what may emerge from this, but if you like the colour of the flag, email me, spread the word, and we'll see what happens!


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