Situating Network Infrastructure with People, Practices, and Beyond: A Community Building Workshop


Our world is now connected and even entangled in unprecedented ways through networked technologies. Yet pockets of unequal connectivity persist, and technical infrastructures for connectivity remain difficult to design and build even for experts. In this workshop we aim to bring together a global community of multi- and inter-disciplinary researchers and implementers working on infrastructure development and connectivity to explore the existing design challenges and opportunities for bringing technical dimensions of networked infrastructures in conversation with human-computer interaction (HCI) and the social science of infrastructure. We will share, assess and define research problems and resources for rethinking networked infrastructures from human- , community-, and society-centered perspectives, understanding them to be embedded with human values and biases. We particularly intend our collaborative work to support real-world connectivity initiatives, which have grown in critical importance over the pandemic years—especially projects in support of Global South communities. Concrete deliverables from the workshop will include: (1) an initial shared bibliography to help formalize the state of knowledge in our area, (2) an agenda of shared goals, challenges, and intentions in our field, (3) a compilation of resources to support future work, and (4) social and organizing infrastructures for continued communication and academic collaboration.