Call for Contributions

PDC 2020 Interactive Workshop

Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility: The Past, Present and Future Values of Participatory Design

Values play a central role in technology design. But whose values? Where are they coming from? How exactly do  they play out and shape the socio-technical systems we create? And which values do we want to prevail? New challenges such as the climate crisis and societal polarization call for technologists to become part of the public and political arena. This results in a new sense of responsibility, but the closing of CPSR, the Computing Professionals for Social Responsibility, has left a gap. Today, across tech workers, academics and computing professionals, there is a renewed sense of urgency for engaging the public and politics to change course in how computing is shaping society.

At a time when intersections in automation and AI agendas, social justice and climate emergency are inspiring researchers of all types and temperaments to write passionate appeals for change, is it time to revive the activist wing of PD with a new structure for public and political engagement? This interactive workshop will re-invigorate the debate around values and social responsibility across disciplinary boundaries in the Latin American context to discuss:

Who has what responsibilities related to values in computing today? Where are the boundaries, connections and overlaps in value responsibilities across designers, academic researchers, tech workers, community organizers and other stakeholders? Whose values are marginalized how? What can we learn from CPSR? 

How do we handle values critically in PD research and practice? Beyond a call to be sensitive, and methods to support sensitivity, PD must also face how marginalization, coercion and false consensus play out on the level of values. How do existing approaches to PD account for this? Does this present a challenge to PD practice and research? How can computing professionals and academics support those affected by computing in emancipating themselves from the values embedded in computing?

What should a CPSR for the 21st century look like? The CPSR wound down over a decade ago, but today, organizations like it are more needed than ever. What could such an organization achieve? What should it be like? How could it come to be? Many organizations, initiatives, collectives and individuals already speak to these concerns. How can they connect and cooperate more effectively?

We ask prospective participants to submit a short position paper (500-1000 words) in English, Spanish or Portuguese that outlines

  • A concrete case or experience report that speaks to responsibilities and values,
  • A historical view on CPSR,
  • A reflection or critique of current positions or practices, or
  • A personal interest statement.

Please submit papers via email to by April 7 April 14, AoE.

We are also building a collaborative map of relevant organizations and welcome contributions!

A note on Covid-19: We expect that the workshop will be primarily or exclusively conducted remotely. PDC currently operates on the assumption that the conference will take place, but that remote participation will be essential and supported. 

Contact Information


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