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Digital Good SIG

Digital technologies are not always good for us and those around us. For example, our relationship with technology can become addictive, reliance on algorithms for decision-making often results in bias, not to mention the myriad thorny issues surrounding surveillance, control, power and more. A key challenge in the design and creation of “good” digital technologies is that we currently lack consensus and definitions as to what we actually mean by the “digital good”.  

This special interest group sets out to explore what the digital good may look like, and how it might be achieved. We believe that Design provides a unique perspective in this interdisciplinary pursuit, to that end we focus on: 

Speculative Design, Design Fiction and Provotyping that provoke reflection and debate about how to advance the digital good before these technologies exist or are deployed at scale with the potential to cause harm. Through Design we begin to answer what the digital good might look like and who would benefit from these technologies. 

Evaluation that moves beyond purely quantitative methods to explore the digital good using a range of design methods that prioritise collaboration, participation, creativity as a means to engage with diverse stakeholders and bring marginalised voices into the conversation around what a good digital society should look like. 

Policy Making is an essential aspect of implementing the digital good, and Design can play a key role across the policy making process to help explore ideas and implications of new legislation that can actively encourage and enact the digital good. 

There are many areas to cover within a ‘digital good’ framework. These are a few of the discussion topics we are having at the moment.

  • what the digital good should look like and how it can be achieved
  • working with organisations and businesses to better understand and consider future relationships with digital technologies
  • using speculative design and provotyping to provoke debates around what the digital good means, and for whom…
  • how can we make sure digital technologies contribute towards a more equitable society?
  • how can we make the digital future more sustainable?
  • how can the digital world be shaped to ensure that digital technologies enhance wellbeing in the face of challenges such as pandemics, political conflicts, natural disasters, misinformation, and online hate?
  • how can we use design to enable policy making that encourages digital good?
  • digital good over time – what is considered digital good now and how might that change? 

Our Team