Technology and Democracy
Our University of the Streets Café public conversations are much like any you’d have with friends or family around a dinner table, except with more people, more points of view, and slightly more structure. Conversations are hosted by a volunteer moderator who is there to welcome everyone and keep things on track. To get things started, there’s a guest, or sometimes two, who get the ball rolling by sharing their ideas, experiences and questions. After that, it's all up to the participants.
In what way has technology succeeded at being democratic? This conversation will consider a nuanced picture of technology in order to highlight power relations in how technology is conceived, who it benefits, and who gets marginalized in the process. We will look at how power relations can be identified in the conception and application of technology, and the steps that would be needed to imagine a democratized technology or one which inserts social diversity into its functioning. How does technological design affect accessibility and reproducibility? Can the emerging commitment to open-source software design be envisioned as the first step towards a technological paradigm shift?
Vijay Kolinjivadi recently completed his PhD in Ecological Economics at McGill and is currently a Post-doc at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. He is passionate about socio-ecological justice and decolonization- especially in understanding human relationships with nature and how and why certain perspectives become legitimized through economic development at the expense of others. He has lived and worked in 8 countries and enjoys biking, reading in grassy meadows, deep conversations, gardening and learning languages.
Daniele Nascimento is a PhD candidate at the School of Information Studies at McGill University. Her doctoral work centers on exploring computing technologies that mediate citizen participation in public decision-making to improve liveability in developing cities. Previously, she completed her M.Sc. in Urban Informatics from Osaka City University, Japan. She holds an MBA in Strategic Marketing Management from Fundação Getúlio Vargas, Brazil. Her research interests include urban data, urban informatics, community informatics and knowledge management.
Mauricio is a recent graduate from Concordia in Community Economic Development and believes that by exploring the intersection of democracy, technology, community organizing and social business, we can co-create resilient community economies. He is the co-founder of Coop Cycle AlimenTerre, a urban agriculture workers cooperative, and is currently in his second term as a CHNGR Ambassador, which aims to support and promote the social economy amongst university communities.
Accessibility info: The Technology Sandbox is on the 2nd floor of the McConnell building at Concordia University. The building is wheelchair accessible via all of its entrances and the 2nd floor is reachable by elevators located near the building entrances. The building is not wheelchair accessible via the Guy metro station. In proximity to the Technology Sandbox, there are washrooms which include wheelchair accessible stalls.