Why is it so hard to do nice things, that make a difference, with other people?

Talk by Dr Kim Foale (they/she)

Sunday from 2:40 PM - 3:10 PM in Stage A

On the surface of it it seems simple: tech and maker types have skills they enjoy using, and community groups have unmet needs that could be helped by these skills. Why then does it feel so incredibly hard to make these collaborations happen in reality? And why does it feel even harder to do it while meaningfully fighting the Tories, transphobes, racists, and neo-Nazis? This talk takes it back to the roots of why we are here and what we’re doing to explore why. I will break down how harmful neoliberal methodologies that dominate tech groupthink such as Human Centered Design and Design Thinking fundamentally restrict what can be made whilst presenting a cardboard cutout “ethics” that falls over at the slightest touch. Instead I introduce Community Technology Partnerships, a methodology developed at Geeks for Social change in collaboration with Manchester School of Architecture, based on “the capability approach”. This is a human development approach used by the UN and WHO developed by Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen that asks what people are able to *be* and *do,* and works to remove blockers to these concrete actions and states. This approach recentres community strengths at the centre of more holistic tech interventions that restore power to the people who need it the most.

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