Mastodon Talks | Just Sustainability Design
Just Sustainability Design Technologies for Just and Sustainable Communities

Recorded Talks

Policy decisions relevant to the environment rely on tools like dashboards to provide information and data visualizations that enable decision-makers to make tradeoffs. Because all outcomes from policies relevant to climate change occur at a distance, decision-makers experience so-called 'psychological distance' to environmental decisions in terms of space, time, social identity, and hypotheticality. Since policy decisions to achieve a safe planetary space are urgently needed for immediate transition, we need a design practice that takes into account how psychological distance affects cognition and decision-making. Our paper explores the role of alternative design approaches in developing visualizations used for climate policymaking. Our paper lays out how future research on the impacts of alternative design approaches on psychological distance can make data used for policy decisions more tangible and visceral. It was accepted at the Tenth Workshop on Computing within Limits (LIMITS 2024) .

Studies of dataset development in machine learning call for greater attention to the data practices that make model development possible and shape its outcomes. Many argue that the adoption of theory and practices from archives and data curation fields can support greater fairness, accountability, transparency, and more ethical machine learning. In response, we are examining data practices in machine learning dataset development through the lens of data curation. We evaluate data practices in machine learning as data curation practices. For our first paper on this topic, "Machine Learning Data Practices through a Data Curation Lens: An Evaluation Framework", we developed an evaluation rubric and applied it to a sample of NeurIPS papers to see what we would find. It was accepted at the ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency (ACM FAccT 2024).

The deep entanglement of information technology with our societies has raised hopes for a transition to more sustainable and just communities — a just transition to societies that phase out fossil fuels, distribute public goods fairly, allow free access to information, and waste less. In principle, computing should be able to help. But in practice, we live in a world in which opaque algorithms steer us toward misinformation and unsustainable consumerism. This talk focusses first on how computing understands its role in sustainability and justice. It positions the role of information technology and computing in environmental sustainability, social justice, and the intersection of the two, and explains why designing IT for just sustainability is both technically and ethically challenging. The talk then covers how we can reorient design perspectives in computer science to better align with the values of sustainability and justice. This was a keynote talk at SICT 2023.

Christoph Becker was invited for several book talks for Insolvent, including the annual University of Toronto Alumni Reunion Week (left) and the 171st Nexa Wednesday at the Nexa Center for Internet and Society (right).

Christoph Becker was a respondent for a talk on facilitating archival data reuse at the Archival Education and Research Initiative (AERI) in 2022.