- Getzinger, Günter
- Jahrbacher, Michaela
- Häller, Franziska
- TitelConference Proceedings of the 20th STS Conference Graz 2022, Critical Issues in Science, Technology and Society Studies, 2 – 4 May 2022
- LicenceCC BY
Frontmatter10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-00 DAOs for the Creative Industries: Post-precarity Models10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-01Working conditions in the creative industries have worsened under platform capitalism. However, the digitalization of work has also provided the conditions for the emergence of platform co-ops, open co-ops and blockchain-based organizations. These new organisational models have the potential to transform the current working conditions of digital workers. The overall aim of this paper is twofold: to discuss the role of these organisational models in creative industries and to shed light on alternative paths to empower workers through fairer work dynamics. To this end, we critically review illustrative case studies literature on platform co-ops, open co-ops, and blockchain-based systems in creative industries. We argue that the mutual influence between blockchainbased systems and platform co-ops can play a relevant role in the creative industries. We conclude with an open cooperativism transitional post-corporate forms scenario. Cargo Bikes for Sustainable Last Mile City Logistics10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-02Climate change, increasing urbanization and growing transport volumes are challenges cities nowadays have to face. Especially the large number of parcels due to the growing e-commerce sector which need to be delivered in densely populated urban areas cause several negative impacts like air pollution, noise and congestion – all reducing the quality of life. One way of reducing these negative externalities of logistics activities in urban areas is the use of small and emission-free vehicles. In this paper, we give an insight into the efficient and effective use of cargo bikes for sustainable city logistics based on a number of case studies. We investigate the challenges and opportunities encountered in last mile logistics processes induced by small environmentally friendly vehicles, such as cargo bikes. Several best practice examples are presented to underline the findings and give an overview of the application areas of cargo bikes. The cases undermine that a priori planning allows to successfully implement logistics processes with cargo bikes, optimizing not only ecological and social aspects, but also achieving economic benefits. Cookstove Energy Sector: Arenas in Transitions to Accessible and Affordable in Global South10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-03According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2014), around 3 billion people still cook using solid fuels (such as wood, crop wastes, charcoal, coal, and dung) and kerosene in open fires and inefficient stoves. Most of these people are poor and live in global south countries. Clean cookstoves are easy to handle but are not easily accepted by the communities. Sustainability transitions are necessary to promote changes in communities in poor regions to become more sustainable and healthier, especially in this cookstove energy industry that promotes transitions towards a low carbon future and involves multiple actors. When analysing the conditions and processes of transitions, the arenas of development (AoD) approach provides an alternative framework in the context of sustainability transitions in the cookstove energy sector. Though the problem has been investigated, how can actors and locations engaged promote sustainability transitions in the cookstove energy sector? Our research aims to characterize how actors' and locations' engagement promotes sustainability transitions in the cookstove energy sector. Based on the proposition for transformative social innovation (TSI) of Pel et al. (2020), this research will bring social innovation to the involved communities to create more sustainable and healthier conditions than the prior situation. Culture and Transition Design in the Fashion System10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-04This research investigates the possibilities of design as a strategic framework for harnessing the transformative potential of the sociocultural dimension in types of innovation that enable a sustainable transformation of the fashion industry. Creative Economics has identified various impacts of culture on a diversity of innovation levels, but this causal relationship, by assuming culture as a "soft" component of innovation, undervalues its capacity for agency, which has been a claim in cultural sociology and fashion studies. To fill this research gap, this article adopts Design for Sustainability (DfS), a recent perspective that integrates strategic design into systemic innovations. This framework is better suited to connect a transformative conception of culture as it understands systemic innovation in terms of structuration processes catalyzed by design. The DfS framework is used as a lens for reviewing the literature around the connections between design and cultural-based innovation towards sustainability. 32 references are analysed under a transdisciplinary heuristic tool that allows integrating culture, design and systems innovation in fashion, and the selection criteria of the references analyzed. Technological Innovation System in Agribusiness: Motors and Evolution10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-05This research aimed to analyze the evolution and interaction over time of the functions of a technological innovation system (TIS) based on the concept of an innovation motor. A case study of the innovative system associated with the production of cage-free pullets for laying eggs in Pelotas/RS was developed. The results corroborate the adequacy of functions and motors as an appropriate theoretical approach in agribusiness. The motors proposed by the TIS approach evolve sequentially and are associated with the mechanisms of cumulative causation. The results of the case study identified two new functions: analysis of the chain as a whole and coordination of the actors involved in the system, as well as the presence of tipping points at the beginning of each motor. The main limitation is the absence of a greater detailing of the market motor in discussions on the evolution of the motors and functions of the TIS Cage-Free Pelotas. Practical implications include innovation motors as a new guiding approach for participatory innovation initiatives in rural areas. Originality is the application of the approach in agribusiness, the proposition of two new functions for the analysis of motors, and the inclusion of the concept of tipping points as an activation trigger in the evolution between motors. The Gendered Analog-Digital Divide in Virtual Academia10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-06During the Covid-19 pandemic, in times of worldwide lockdowns, academic careers were impacted in a gendered way (Gabster et al., 2020): Existing gender inequalities have increased (Oleschuk, 2020) and female academics, especially early career researchers, have conducted less research compared to men (Viglione, 2020; Amano-Patiño et al., 2020). Also, women’s submissions to peer reviewed journals dropped radically. One might argue that the pandemic is over, and that academic life is back to normal, leaving us with the benefits of improved tools and practices for virtual collaboration. However, virtual academia risks increasing inequalities, an effect we will refer to as the analogue-digital divide. These risks affect especially researchers at the beginning of their career, and those who contribute to a greater extent to academic and family care work, which are mainly women. In this paper, we reflect and consolidate the findings of six projects with partners across Europe and two universities which analysed the lasting effects of the pandemic from the perspectives of researchers at different career stages, service staff, as well as decision makers in boards and juries. We conclude that strategies and measures developed before the Covid-19 pandemic do not consider virtual academia sufficiently. We thus suggest how to counteract the analog-digital divide with requests of funding organisations and implemented by research processing organisations in their gender equality plans (GEPs). (Dis)Assembling Predictive Stability: On the History and Culture of Survey Sampling for Election Forecasts10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-07This essay explores the history of election forecasting alongside the history of survey sampling. In doing so, the following contributes to contemporary scholarship on cultures of prediction, suggesting the notion of predictive stability as a way to conceptualise predictions in social science. In taking an ANT-informed perspective, this essay shows how the development of a stable culture of prediction hinges on the assembling of heterogeneous actors, which stabilisation often takes place in the aftermath of major elections. In order to arrive at this conclusion, the essay will proceed as follows: I will first introduce the topic of cultures of predictions in the social sciences and opinion polling, through which I develop the concept of predictive (in-)stability. After this, I will briefly draw on the history of election forecasting and the history of survey sampling to show that new sampling methods are usually not adopted when their superiority becomes apparent, but when predictive instability of the old ones comes to the fore. In doing so, I will show how the evaluation of pre-election polls informs the way polling is done in general, which in turn, leads to closure regarding the general accepted methodological approaches. This closure is oftentimes reached in the aftermath of major elections. Solar Energy Prosumption in Fruit Value Chains Support the Energy Transition10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-08The objective of the present study was to assess the potential of reducing carbon emissions from on-farm energy use for fruit storage. For this case study, we developed a model fruit farm, where apples are produced, then stored for up to six months and sold on the local market. We calculated the primary energy demand and the carbon footprint of solar versus national grid energy to operate the fruit storage. We determined the extent to which the use of solar energy would contribute to the decarbonisation of the fruit value chain at the farm level under the given energy requirements. In our study, we compared the carbon footprint for two scenarios: Use of i) self-generated solar electricity and ii) grid electricity. The main challenge when considering the use of solar energy is that energy is needed for the storage facility in winter, when the yield from solar energy is lowest, and a high yield from solar energy is achieved in summer, when the energy demand on the farm is comparatively low. This is true not only for fruit farms, but they represent one of the most energy-intensive forms of agricultural production. We argue that while the use of alternative energy sources compared to the normal grid has a positive environmental impact on reducing carbon emissions, the temporary gaps in solar energy production and demand contribute significantly to farmer uncertainty. Based on our calculation we can show, that there is most probably no additional financial burden on farmers. A Collaborative, Interdisciplinary, Undergraduate Course on Generative Art10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-09We describe an undergraduate course on generative art, co-taught by a professor of Fine Arts and a professor of Mathematics, offered at Ohio Wesleyan University in Spring 2020. Starting with a definition of generative art as “art in which the artist deliberately cedes control over some significant aspect of their work to an external agent, “twelve undergraduate students worked to create generative art across a range of two-dimensional media, both digital and physical. Principles of design, color, and computation were emphasized throughout. In this paper we describe the overall aims of the course as well as some of its key assignments and outcomes. Is the Industrial Turn in Renewables Killing Denmark’s Energy Cooperatives?10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-10This study contributes to sustainability transitions research by taking an energy democracy perspective on important, comparative aspects of community energy development. Locally rooted wind energy cooperatives have played an important role in Denmark’s clean energy transition but recently 4 out of 5 such projects have shut down. This development has been associated with a turn to large investordriven industrial-scale renewable energy projects. The broader participation of cooperatives in other parts of Denmark’s energy sector has received little scholarly attention. The purpose of this study is to provide a synthesis across different technologies and types of cooperatives showing the industrial turn’s impact on the cooperative energy landscape. This paper builds on the identification of almost 800 energy cooperatives. Cooperatives remain a substantial part of the energy system in Denmark. They account for 26 percent of total turnover in the energy sector and are especially important in electrical distribution, district heating, biogas, and onshore wind power. Combining descriptive statistics and interviews with key actors in the field, this paper shows how the industrial turn negatively affects producer-owned wind and solar power cooperatives, and farmer-owned biogas cooperatives. Other types of energy cooperatives like district heating companies seem unaffected. A novel phenomenon is identified: The rise of energy mega cooperatives in the field of electrical distribution. These cooperatives have 100,000s of members and function as business groups with diverse activities in renewable energy generation and distribution. The study highlights a large potential for participation of retail- and housing cooperatives in renewable energy supply and suggests that comparative perspectives are needed to better understand the potential for democratizing Europe’s clean energy transition. DAO meets the Estonian e-residency program: a stance from Synergy's blockchain-based open-source toolkit10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-11 Shifting the Power Balance: community-led resistance and the shaping of local understandings of place10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-12Past energy transitions have been characterised by strategic geopolitical and socio-economic drivers that rarely considered issues of social justice or community cohesion. This is interesting given the profound systemic reconfigurations that took place. The current transition to low-carbon energy has seen a departure of sorts, particularly in terms of the complex, intersecting drivers involved. Consequently, there has been a widening of the roles citizens are expected to take, particularly in terms of participation and engaging with the energy system. However, differing interpretations of how these roles are to be expressed, and the degree of power to be assigned those roles, has resulted in contradicting responses from local people. The rollout of what appear to be broadly popular renewable energy technologies has met with strong resistance at the local level. Place attachment – especially in terms of belonging, identity, relationships, and acceptance – has come to define localised responses to recent (inter)national energy and climate-related policy. Understanding how place attachment affects the (re)negotiating of local understandings of place is therefore important, as is its role in sustaining narratives of resistance to locally unpopular strategic energy projects. This paper will present findings from the SEAI-funded project, EnergyPolities and cognate work, which explored how governance structures intersect with socio-economic and key socio-cultural factors to influence the social acceptability or otherwise of current energy transition pathways. It will also examine recent responses from powerful actors challenged by emerging citizen participation and engagement roles, and discusses the tactics used to limit the diversity of voices and perspectives in the energy transition. Opportunities of responsible innovation approach in the spread of AV technology10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-13Although the vast majority of research related to autonomous vehicles (AV) is of technological and natural scientific nature, more and more social scientific research is being conducted in this topic. These works frequently draw attention to the wide range of uncertainties and open questions regarding AVs. It offers an excellent opportunity to approach social challenges concerning AVs through the conceptual system of responsible innovation (RI). Understanding the complex relationship of society and AV technology becomes much more significant to handle the uncertainties and ethical challenges of AVs. In the light of the above, our theoretical research focuses on literature review, in which we address how responsible innovation framework can contribute to the most socially desirable outcome concerning Avs. The long-term objective of our research is to lay the foundation of a socio-technical integration which maximizes the advantages and minimizes the disadvantages of autonomous technology. The examination of the relationship between RI and AV technology revealed several facts which suggest that the application of RI is justified. The literature highlighted that public engagement should be realised in a special socio-technical integration which is embedded in the framework of RI, thus it is important to involve the widest possible range of society in innovation processes. (The study was prepared for the OTKA project with ID number K 13757, financed from the NRDI fund, National Research, Development and Innovation Office.) Activating Energy Communities for Systemic Change10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-14The speed of energy transition in the Netherlands is low, in contrast to its 2050 climate change target of net-zero emissions. The transition requires 7.5 million households with natural gas connections, to move to renewable energy sources. The main challenge is not technical, many viable options are already available, but social: people will need to be supported to decide and act. In this paper, we identify interventions that could activate change within energy communities, through 19 interviews conducted in March 2021 in Austerlitz, Zeist municipality, The Netherlands. Interview questions were guided by the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation, and Behavioural (COM-B) change model. The model explains factors that affect people’s behaviour. Results indicate that renovation and energy transition are viewed as two separate processes. Austerlitz homeowners are waiting for the government to lead the energy transition process, while they continue to renovate their homes to improve comfort, aesthetics, safety, and convenience. Also, current interventions towards activating households are piecemeal and more focused on creating external opportunities (such as financial support), and barely address the psychological capabilities and motivation factors (belief, attitude, social norm, and perceived behavioural control). To boost psychological capabilities and motivation, we recommend interventions that enhance homeowners’ belief that the energy transition is part of their long-term home renovation plans, for their own benefit, to motivate them to drive the energy transition process. Interventions may include ‘show’ or ‘display’ houses where energy transition was combined with renovations and highlighting inspirational energy transition stories on the municipality website. Integrating Inclusion into Technologies – Practical Insights from two case studies in VR-Technology and E-Mobility10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-15For most of us today, using technologies often is not optional anymore. However, inclusivity and a user-centred approach are still not the default in technology development. There remains a lot to learn on how to apply technologies to different contexts and for diverse user groups. Using two examples of FEMtech research projects (VR4Care on the use of virtual reality in nursing homes and FEMCharge on the development of charging infrastructure for e-cars), we want to give practical insights into two research projects which specifically tried to consider sex and gender in an intersectional way when developing new technologies. In both, we were able to identify relevant insights for the future development of technologies with approaches geared towards more inclusion using focus groups, usability tests, interviews and intersectional analysis of the obtained data. In these two research processes, we were able to witness that while looking at sex and gender as a variable remained relevant, other dimensions of diversity and/or their intersection also caused large disparities. It therefore was elementary to take these into account, as they often turned out to carry more weight than sex or gender. We concluded that it is not enough to consider gender as an isolated variable, but that a user-centred approach needs to be an intersectional approach. Research practice shows us, that there are many limitations and challenges associated with these kinds of research processes. In the conclusion, we therefore also outline our thoughts on the practical challenges we encountered. Participatory Online Idea Labs: Empowering Social Workers in Dealing with Digitalization10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-16The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated digitalization processes in the field of social work. While some areas, such as IT infrastructure, improved, others remained the same or even worsened, such as the lack of co-determination in selecting, implementing, and evaluating digital tools. Against this background, we discuss participation opportunities for social workers in their organizations. We ask how they can actively participate in developing digitalization strategies or accompany other processes in this regard. The focus is on our method of participatory online idea labs, which enables the development of recommendations for action from practice for practice. We present the method’s goals and structure in detail before we evaluate its advantages, such as empowering employees, and challenges, such as reaching out to techno-skeptic people. At the end of this paper, we discuss individual recommendations for action, which refer to the possibilities for employees to participate in the digitalization of their working environment and which are also presented in a toolbox. Towards transparent municipal open data: risks, illusions and opportunities in a growing field10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-17In the last years, many municipalities started to embrace the potential of open data, who envision open data as a mean to substantially enhance transparency and accountability towards citizens, restore trust in public services and increase citizens’ participation and engagement. However, the flip side of open data rarely surfaces when municipalities report on their open data successes. This paper attends to the dark side of open data by examining open data extracted using the FixMyStreet API, to report incidents or urban disorder, nuisance and minor crimes in the Brussels’ streets, by visualizing the aggregated data through a dashboard. Our approach illustrates that open data has a malleable character and breaks with several of the eight ‘Sebastopol principles’ of open data: (1) Only a fragment of reported data is available; (2) The data is not primary, since information is sometimes added by third parties; (3) Interventions are not always added in a timely fashion, with little to no information on the handling of the incident. This results in inaccurate data; (4) Reasonable privacy restrictions are lacking. The open data pose a risk to citizens’ and municipal employees’ privacy, and is non-compliant with GDPR regulations. Given these limitations, we argue that there are risks of misinterpreting or misusing this fragmented and inaccurate data, leading to misinformed citizens and policymakers. These risks underpin the need for a transparent data policy that allows open data initiatives to deliver on their promises and enables citizens to meaningfully engage with the urban environment and its complexities. Inclusion and exclusion in citizen science: A matter of context10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-18Associated with promises of inclusion and sometimes the democratisation of research processes, citizen science is a highly normatively charged term. These promises often go hand in hand with the optimistic claim that citizen science is per se anti-elitist and anti-traditionalist and stands for openness, civic education and indeed inclusion. Inclusion is a frequent topic of critical discussions among those who publish on citizen science. This paper argues that for several reasons these promises are far from being self-evident. First of all, citizen science is not a clear-cut, well-defined concept. Secondly, it is also not clear what inclusion in citizen science activities means if it is discussed on a too general level. Which forms of inclusion and exclusion citizen science can produce depends on the respective citizen science activities and their dimensions, i. e. conditions these activities depend on. These forms have to be known to assess if an activity should be inclusive. For their Activities & Dimensions Grid of Citizen Science, which is based on a very broad description of citizen science by European Commission, the authors roughly grouped citizen science activities into four areas: citizen science in 1) science policy, 2) scientific research, 3) development and innovation, and 4) school education. In this paper the authors describe for each area exemplarily, how inclusion and exclusion may happen. Furthermore, they argue that inclusion is not an end in itself and not an important aspect of every citizen science activity. Can sustainability transition methodologies support urban governance? - Case study CDMX Tri-color Coalition10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-19System change requires different perspectives to create synergies. Sustainability transitions is a field of research that intends to solve grand societal challenges with large-scale societal changes. Urban governance is related to the processes and relationships between the government and civil society delivered in towns and cities. This research aims to analyse in which degree can two sustainability transition methodologies support complex urban governance challenges. The case study was done as an exercise of the Tricolor Coalition for Mexico City’s (CDMX) water and energy sectors. The two methodologies due to their its actionable and contextualizable application were: Doughnut Economics City Portrait Methodology to define “sustainability” for CDMX’s water and energy context and the XCurve Framework to analyse the possible “transitions” processes required for a water and energy societal change. The results were that these methodologies were useful for governance in CDMX to create stronger networks between stakeholders with similar visions, and to exchange knowledge, resources, and ideas for change. However, it also found that applying these methodologies was insufficient to create governance change. The design of long-term, resourceful and accessible platforms is required to monitor and follow-up with the changes. More research is required to understand how to design and create these types of platforms. Self-Tracking: Ethical Considerations on Transparency and Privacy10.3217/978-3-85125-932-2-20This article reflects on self-tracking technologies as practices of individual transparency from an ethical point of view. As a conceptual contribution, it discusses transparency as a norm and democratic promise to the individual and presents an overview of ethical implications of a digitally transparent society and its tools. It discusses the notion of transparency as a powerful normative concept of 21st century digital societies. It goes on to argue that people become transparent on a digital level as practices such as self-tracking make individual transparency become an ideology of digital societies. Digital transparency is a concept directly opposed to that of privacy. From a liberal point of view, individual digital transparency and self-tracking pose a threat to self-determination, autonomy, and privacy, while at the same time promising autonomy. To understand these contradictory conceptual contexts, this paper explains the normative importance privacy holds for democracy and individual autonomy. In order to contain the resulting ethical ambivalences of self-tracking and transparency, this paper finally highlights the importance of special sensitivity and attention to differently distributed vulnerabilities, the need for democratic regulation, and for digital sovereignty in all age groups.