i3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217)
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Institut Interdisciplinaire de l'Innovation

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Call for papers i3 conference 2015: Participating in Innovation, Innovating in Participation
Posted on 19 May 2015

We are inviting abstracts for an interdisciplinary conference on innovation that will be held on 3-4 December 2015 in Paris. The theme of the conference is “Participating in Innovation, Innovating in Participation”. The deadline for submitting abstracts (max. 1000 words) is June 21.

Keynote speakers

  • Liam Bannon, UFRJ / University of Limerick / University of Aarhus
  • Trevor Pinch, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University

Conference theme

The call for new forms of participation has become common in the public sphere, promising renewed forms of public engagement, more efficient industrial processes, and more democratic decision-making processes. Technological innovation is a particular case when considering current discourses of participation. It is both problematised as needing more developed or open forms of participation, and proposed as a mean for experimenting with original participatory formats, for example, in: crowdfunding, citizen science, amateur reviewing/rating, online communities for public debates, consumer participation in (participatory) product design.
  • How should the call for new forms of participation in technological innovation be understood, in terms of both public policy and the private sector?
  • How are social and economic organisations thereby shaped?
  • What does this mean for new processes of innovation?
The second i3 conference “Participating in innovation, innovating in participation” aims to launch and deepen interdisciplinary discussion on the forms and effects of modes of participation in technological innovation. The principal issues that the conference will address are as follows: 1. Practices and sociotechnical devices Sociotechnical devices are crucial resources for supporting involvement and participation as interactional accomplishments. These devices comprise participatory instruments such as public dialogue mechanisms, web platforms through which users interact with the content they are interested in, or user-oriented experiments undertaken by private companies.
  • On what bases can these sociotechnical devices be analysed?
  • What kinds of infrastructures do they rely on?
  • How do these infrastructures become stabilised?
Sociotechnical devices are inscribed in networks of professionals as well as in institutional landscapes: how can the ecologies they are embedded in, and partly shape, be accounted for? For example, how can one analyse the situations where devices of participation are economic entities circulating in markets, or emerge as topics of public or private expertise? Analysis of sociotechnical devices can focus on the micro-processes whereby participants make sense of their engagement, possibly in relation with other multiple activities.
  • How can we provide a fine-grained description of the activities whereby individuals are made participants, and act as such?
2. Economic value of contributions The outcomes of participatory initiatives may create economic value. For example, the contributions of users on travel, art or food-related websites have economic value for the companies being commented upon, as well as for the web-platform that gathers the users’ opinions. Case studies of ways for creating value from the voluntary or involuntary contributions of users, including in the forms of digital marks they leave, are especially encouraged.
  • What economic or business models sustain these initiatives?
  • How do these models shape particular modes of user participation?
Analysis of examples could aim at understanding the political and economic dimensions of contemporary practices such as digital labour, crowdfunding, the use of lay expertise or citizen science by private companies or public bodies. 3. Participation as social ordering Participation can be analysed as a social ordering process, since it allocates roles and responsibilities, makes it possible for some to have their voices heard but not others, and stabilises particular public problems at the expense of others.
  • How can the inequalities shaped by participatory mechanisms in technological innovation be accounted for?
  • How can we characterise, at micro or macro levels, the hierarchical constructs that participation results in?
These questions may be examined through the analysis of governance practices within emerging communities of practice, and also through the description of the gradual stabilisation of dominant forms of participation. Keynote speakers Liam Bannon, UFRJ / University of Limerick / University of Aarhus Trevor Pinch, Department of Science & Technology Studies, Cornell University Scientific committee Romain Badouard (Université de Cergy-Pontoise), Flore Barcellini (CNAM), Jean-Samuel Beuscart (Orange), Anni Borzeix (Ecole Polytechnique), Pierre-Jean Benghozi (Ecole Polytechnique), Eva Boxenbaum (Mines ParisTech), Dominique Cardon (EHESS), Jason Chilvers (U. of East Anglia), Françoise Détienne (Télécom ParisTech), Christian Licoppe (Telecom ParisTech), Dominique Pasquier (Telecom ParisTech), Cécile Méadel (Mines ParisTech), Sezin Topçu (EHESS), Jan-Peter Voß (T.U. Berlin). Important dates The conference will take place on 3-4 December 2015 at Mines ParisTech (60 bd Saint-Michel, 75006 Paris, France).
  • For paper proposals, please submit a title and an extended abstracts (max. 1000 words) by 21 June 2015. Authors are invited by submit their title and abstract to the address:
i3conference2015@mines-telecom.fr
  • Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 15 September 2015
  • Full papers corresponding to selected communications presented at the conference will be solicited for publication after the conference itself.

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