Where is digital technology taking us? Who is in charge?

Barcelona, Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th, March 2016

This in-depth symposium of two days will be spent in a series of workshops, some of which are interactive, and a round table. Discussions will be on such vital questions as: Is technology driving us? What directions are we going in? Do we really want to go in these directions? Who is in charge? Who decides our future? What are the possible futures? What is our social responsibility in this regard? There are currently widely diverse views emerging on such issues as social, care, industrial and military robots, but also on many other contemporary and emerging technologies such as electric cars.

Preliminary programme

Thursday March 3rd 2016

9:30 ··· Registration

9:45 ··· Welcome and presentation of the symposium

10:15 ··· Round table brief presentation of the participants

10:30 ··· Invited talks  and discussions

Ethical challenges of transhumanism and emerging human enhancement technologies
Miquel-Àngel SERRA, Laboratory of Neuropharmacology, Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, and Albert CORTINA, Estudi DTUM, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Spain.

12:00 – 12:30 ··· Break and networking

12:30 – 13:30 ··· Position papers and discussions

How can we keep Social Informatics courses appropriate, relevant and assessable?
Richard TAYLOR, International Baccalaureate Organisation

“Fac[ing the]book”: Literature and Social Networking Sites.

Steps towards Digital Equity.

13:30 ··· Lunch and networking

15:00 ··· Interactive workshop

Social and educational problems: challenging technological solutions and looking  at who benefits.

17:00 ··· Coffee and conclusions of the first day

Informal optional dinner (time and place, TBC: self-paying), includes brief discussion among 9.2ers of upcoming organisational challenges

Friday March 4th  2016

9:30 – 11:30 ··· Position papers and discussions

From educational and social problems to digital technology solutions: An unfathomable gap?

Organising and holding envisioning exercises: Digital Futures.
Diane WHITEHOUSE, IFIP working group chair 9.2 and technical committee 9 chair.

Where are WE steering digital technologies?
Norberto PATRIGNANI, Politecnico of Torino and Uppsala University, norberto.patrignani@polito.it and Diane WHITEHOUSE, The Castlegate Consultancy, Malton, UK.

Upbringing to life in a modern, information-driven society
Malgorzata Alicja PLOTKA, Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology, PL

11:30  – 12:00 ··· Break and networking

12:00 – 13:30 ··· Workshop

How to move forward? Ideas (and compromises) to develop and spread a critical approach to unsocial technological developments.

13:30 ··· Wrap up

13:45 ··· Lunch and networking

16:00 ··· Optional activity

Informal impromptu visit to the exhibition Human+: The Future of our Species (self-paying)

Invitees and other attendees

Invitees will be asked to provide a one-page position paper (an “abstract”) that describes your opinions on the subject and supports them by evidence and literature. Other attendees are welcome, and are also asked to submit a short abstract. The event is limited to 50 persons only. Enrollment is necessary. Please fill in the submission template and send it to esbrina@ub.edu.


There is no direct cost for the workshop; however, a small fee may be charged to cover catering. Dinners will be self-paying. Attendees will need to cover their own transportation/accommodation costs.


Possible publication of the workshop interventions is being explored with a number of journals.

Submission date for abstract

Monday 22nd February 2016. Please enroll and submit your abstract as soon as possible and certainly by Monday 22nd February 2016 at the very latest!


Suggested hotels:


  • 987 Barcelona Hotel. Very close to the city center and to metro line 3 (green), which can take you to the campus in about 20 minutes.
  • Hotel Lesseps. Placed in between the campus and city center, it is also close to metro line 3 (green).
  • Hotel Alimara. Very close to University of Barcelona’s Mundet Campus and to Mundet Metro Station.


Hotel rooms are not guaranteed. Please book as soon as possible.

Relevant associated materials


Other exciting events happening in Barcelona at the same time

This impressive exhibition will no doubt be of interest to invitees/attendees: Human+: The Future of Our Species

Programme committee

Carmen Alba, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
José Miguel Correa Gorospe, University of the Basque Country, Spain
Juana Sancho Gil, University of Barcelona, Spain
Diane Whitehouse, The Castlegate Consultancy, United Kingdom
Kai Kimppa, Turku University, Finland
Richard Taylor, International Baccalaureate, United Kingdom
Anna Vartapetience, University of Surrey, United Kingdom



Header photo by Gabriel Santiago

March 3rd and 4th, 2016
Room 240
Edifici Llevant, 2nd floor

Universitat de Barcelona
Campus Mundet
Passeig de la Vall d’Hebron 171
Barcelona, CP 08035
The symposium will be in English.
Free admission.
Registration mandatory.


The two days are organised by IFIP WG9.2 on social accountability and computing in conjunction with Esbrina of University of Barcelona and REUNI+D.

logo-ifip-smalllogo-esbrina-small  logo-reunid-small

With the support of

  • University of Barcelona
  • Department of Didactics and Educational Management
  • Faculty of Education