Oct 222014


11th Human Choice and Computers International Conference (HCC11)

Diane Whitehouse, chair, ICT and Society, IFIP TC9

Kai Kimppa, HCC11 co-chair, IFIP national representative to TC9

Forty years since the first Human Choice and Computers conference was held, over 70 people attended the bi-annual ICT and Society flagship conference (HCC11). Attendees came from as far afield as Australia, Japan, South Africa and the United States. There were also many local Finnish, Nordic, and European participants present.

The three conference days took place in Turku, Finland from 29 July-1 August, 2014, thanks to the hosting of the Turku School of Economics and the great support offered by Dr Kai Kimppa and his team of young researchers. Another co-chair was Dr Jackie Phahlamohlaka of South Africa.

Robert Serén of the Finnish Information Processing Association welcomed the attendees to the event. The conference was based on four core themes, each related to one or more of the technical committee’s eleven working groups: society, social responsibility, ethics and ICT; the history of computing and its meaning for the future; peace, war, cyber-security and ICT; and health, care, well-being and ICT. The interests of the newly-launched working group related to ICT applications in peace and war were very well represented. This new working group also used the event to organise its launch meeting, thanks to the dynamism of its new Chair, Ms Louise Leenen and her team from South Africa.

The event was successful and well attended. It was based around a comprehensive range of events: three keynote speakers; a dynamic workshop on professionalism; panels at which national computer society representatives and working group chairs presented their messages; several important social events; as well as the more customary academic presentations or position papers. Much tribute was paid to the intellectual heritage of IFIP: while the three keynotes were all longstanding members of IFIP, their messages were very fresh and pertinent today. Professor Don Gotterbarn of the ACM reminded us that even good people sometimes do, albeit unintentionally, bad things and proposed how to rectify this situation; Professor Gunilla Bradley of KTH, Sweden argued strongly in favour of pacifism on the part of ICT researchers and workers; and Professor Klaus Brunnstein of the University of Hamburg, renewed the interest of the audience in the important challenges related to privacy and security in ICT applications.

The conference has been successful in producing two publications: one from Springer-Verlag, and a second that comprises a dozen works-in-progress from the local Turku University publishing house.

For background information, see http://www.springer.com/computer/general+issues/book/978-3-662-44207-4 and http://www.hcc11.org

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