BRIDGEr Monika Buscher Invites Contributions to ELSI Track at ISCRAM 2015

3 Dec 2014

Dear colleagues,
We would like to invite you to discuss research on the role of technologies in experiences of disasters and the work of disaster response at ISCRAM 2015 in Kristiansand, Norway, May 24 - 27, 2015.  
The theme of the conference is Getting ready for the unexpected – IS for Crisis Management in a complex and uncertain world.
In a special track on ethical, legal and social issues we will discuss opportunities for information sharing, relational ethics, public engagement and new ways of learning from past disasters, as well as challenges arising around the contextual nature of privacy, implications of logging responder movements and communications, and many other issues. If you are interested in research that explores ethical, legal or social aspects in relation to disasters and disaster response, we would love hear about it. Please find a call for papers below and a longer version at
Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Track
Introduction to the track
This track invites contributions that enhance understanding of Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) arising around information and communication technology in crisis response and management. The aim should be to inform careful socio-technical innovation.
Emergent technologies such as command and control, risk analysis and decision support systems, geo-spatial information and GIS, mesh networking, cloud computing, mobile and wearable devices, sensors, drones, robots, crowdsourcing, social media, modelling, simulation, serious gaming, visual and big data analytics can support societies in dealing with uncertainty in crises. They enable more informed, agile and coordinated emergency planning, response and recovery, but also introduce new uncertainties, of technological complexity and failure, disruptive innovation and potentially far-reaching transformations through an ‘informationalization’ of emergency services.
Ethical, legal and social issues pose significant challenges and opportunities. We list some core topics below and invite practitioner reports, academic papers, and demonstrations of technologies that address ethical, legal and social challenges and opportunities of ICT supported crisis management across all phases.
Track topics
Track topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Digital divides and exclusions: citizens, non-citizens, communities, responders
  • The sociality of information management practices and information sharing cultural issues
  • Data protection, transformations of privacy, Privacy by design, design for privacy, privacy preserving technologies
  • Digital humanitarianism and the limits of ICT
  • Cloud computing - availability, resilience, capacity, security
  • IT supported logging and professional integrity
  • Technology dependence, technology failure and liability
  • Proactive law, IT support for reasoning about and negotiation of legitimacy, transparency and accountability
  • ELSI associated with big data, open data, OpenStack, Open Source
  • Opportunities and challenges of ‘service co-creation’, ‘crisis informatics' and volunteering
  • Societal issues such as surveillance/sousveillance, militarization of everyday life, culture of fear, and opportunities (e.g. around non-military or surveillance inspired uses of UAV)
  • Comparative studies of ELSI in different countries
  • Theories about ethics, law and social practice, from virtues to relational ethics
Important Dates
30 January 2015 Short Papers, Demos & Posters deadline
16 February 2015 Notification of acceptance for Short Papers, Demos, Posters
27 February 2015 Camera ready Short Papers deadline
Track Chairs
  • Monika Buscher (Main Contact), Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University, UK.
  • Catherine Easton, Lancaster University Law School, Lancaster University, UK.
  • Vitaveska Lanfranchi, C.E.O. of Knowledge Now,
  • Michael Liegl, Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University, UK.
  • Katrina Petersen, Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University, UK.
  • Caroline Rizza, Telecom Paristech, Paris, France.
  • Hayley Watson, Trilateral Research, London, UK.
Please get in touch if you have any questions. And please feel free to forward this call to any interested parties.
With best wishes,
Dr. Monika Büscher
Director mobilities.lab
Centre for Mobilities Research
Department of Sociology
Lancaster University
email: m.buscher(at)
mobile: 07890 847166
Twitter: @mbuscher, @mobslab, @BridgeLancaster


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