SIG meeting on “Cooperativism and Human-Computer Interaction” at CHI 2019

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The Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting on “Cooperativism and Human-Computer Interaction” at CHI 2019.

The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the premier international conference of Human-Computer Interaction. CHI – pronounced ‘kai’ – is a place where researchers and practitioners gather from across the world to discuss the latest in interactive technology.


If social, economic and environmental sustainability are linked, then support for the increasing number of non-profit groups and member-owned organizations offering what Trebor Scholz has called “platform cooperativism” (Scholz, 2016) has never been more important. Together, these organizations not only tackle issues their members identify in the world of work, but also provide network-driven collections of shared things (e.g., books, tools) and resources (e.g., woodworking spaces, fab labs) that benefit local communities, potentially changing, not just use of resources at community level, but socio-economic structures on the ground (e.g., Light, forthcoming). In contrast to for-profit services often associated with the sharing economy (e.g., Uber, Airbnb), platform co-ops attempt to advocate ecological, economic and social sustainability, with the goal to promoting a fairer distribution of goods and labor, ultimately creating a stronger sense of community. While some HCI sub-communities (e.g., CSCW) have started to explore this emergent phenomenon, especially leveraging ethnographic research methods, researchers have called for more diverse HCI approaches to address the growing scope of challenges within platform co-ops, member-driven exchange systems, and cooperativism more broadly. This SIG aims to bring together researchers from different HCI sub-communities to identify future research directions in HCI around cooperativism and platforms.


Anton Fedosov is completing his doctorate in the Research Group for Ubiquitous Computing at USI Lugano in Switzerland. His research focuses on understanding user experience around contemporary sharing practices of personal digital information and physical objects.

Airi Lampinen is an Associate Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction at Stockholm University in Sweden. Airi has studied interpersonal dynamics in peer-to-peer exchange extensively. Her ongoing research focuses on interpersonal challenges in sharing economies and alternative, member-driven peer-to-peer initiatives.

Tawanna Dillahunt is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information. She designs, builds, enhances and deploys innovative technologies to address employment barriers among underserved job seekers. A key interest includes understanding how to integrate social science theory into the design of social technologies.

Ann Light is a Professor of Design and Creative Technology at the University of Sussex and a Professor at Malmo University, Sweden. She specializes in the social impact of technology, and particularly the deployment of platforms. Her design work concerns innovation in social process, social justice and sustainability, researched using participatory methods.

Coye Cheshire is an Associate Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information (iSchool). His work focuses on how various forms of exchange are produced and maintained on the Internet, and more broadly, in computer-mediated exchanges. Coye’s current research topics include: (1) the role of trust and cooperation in interpersonal online interactions, (2) collective behavior and online collaboration, and (3) social incentives and motivations to contribute in online environments.

Tentative Schedule

14:00 – 14:15 Convene and Introduction
14:15 – 14:45 Fishbowl Discussion on emergent challenges of resource-sharing communities and platform co-ops
14:45 – 14:55 Writing in Break-out groups on how the HCI community can attend to those challenges
14:55 – 15:15 Drafting a research agenda based on groups’ input
15:15 – 15:20 The next steps

When: May 8
Where: Room: Island A at Crowne Plaza Glasgow, Congress Road, Glasgow, UK