We have entered the Digital Decade. During the previous 10 years, digitalization accelerated and those developments animated debates in the scientific, political and business communities, including AI and society, ICT and sovereignty, Industry 4.0, education and computational literacy, health and care giving, aging, women’s rights and online safety.

EUSSET is a community, encompassing a research field and a research attitude. Participating in the above debates and proposing research and innovation perspectives requires the participation of all the members of our community. This participation will help us strengthen our awareness and develop ideas, viewpoints, theories, systems and methods, creating new and important contributions to debates, providing a unique perspective in research and innovation. 

We want to impact society by: 

  • Exploring the social situations and practices in which digital technologies are embedded.
  • Developing new methods to engage people in the participatory construction of socially-embedded digital technologies.
  • Contributing to the design, development, and sustainable deployment of future socially-embedded digital technologies.

A European Tradition in a Global Setting

EUSSET was founded to support the practice-centered computing tradition that links a deep understanding of work and life practices with the design of innovative technological artefacts.

Based upon empirical, design-oriented and system development work in organizations and communities, practice-centered computing has provided concepts and innovative technologies that fit into practice and lead to greater efficiency and a higher quality of work and life by empowering the participants in these endeavors.

Practice-centered computing has its roots in earlier theoretical and design research areas such as Scandinavian Participatory Design, the Socio-Technical School, and both the French and German psychology and sociology of work. This strong European tradition is reflected in the name EUSSET, though Europe should here be understood as conceptual rather than geographical in its composition.

The Eusset Value Proposition

EUSSET embraces a wide spectrum of research, reflecting the diversity of its community. EUSSET strives to be the primary international community devoted to practice-centered computing, linking researchers worldwide.

EUSSET is:
• Interested in computing as a mediating activity, in which people engage, which means that computing needs to be studied together with practices.
• Committed to understanding practices in a deep way, drawing on field-based methods, and connecting this knowledge with design, often by including end-users and stakeholders to collaborate in the design process itself.
• Developing technology that can be used in its social context rather than just offering new products per se.
• Building sociotechnical theory instead of merely technical or social theory.

This perspective has made, and should continue to make, a significant contribution to the articulation of more realistic scenarios for life in the future than those derived purely from technological determinism.

We want EUSSET to be stronger to support: 

  • Diversity: Developing technology that values social cooperation as a common good, therefore offering a diversity of digital technologies adapted to diverse situations.
  • Sustainability: Driving research towards results that are sustainable in practice.
  • Democracy: Providing a safe space for diverse opinions and views.
Background

This document was drafted by the Steering Committee for 2020-2023, building on the foundational EUSSET Position Paper, and finalised in an open process during the ECSCW 2021 Conference.