June 2019
 
 
Message from the Editor
 
 
Heather Love, Editor, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) Newsletter
 
 
Dear SSIT Members,

I’m delighted to be sending out such a full newsletter this month! In addition to several new additions to our regular sections on conferences and publications, you’ll find important announcements about:
  • SSIT’s flagship conference, ISTAS 2019, which will take place this November in Boston, MA;
  • A Call for Nominations to the SSIT Board of Governors (BoG) and for the role of President Elect – I hope you will consider putting your name forward for one of those positions!
  • And two new write-ups in our series of Introductions to the SSIT BoG.
As always, I invite submissions from all SSIT members for inclusion in future newsletters. To announce an event, news item, volunteer opportunity, CFP, award notice, or other article, please contact me at Heather.Love@uwaterloo.ca. Submissions for the July 2019 newsletter are due by 28 June 2019.
 
 
SSIT Announcements
 
 
ISTAS 2019: Call For Papers Available Now!
 
 
SSIT’s flagship conference, the 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (IEEE ISTAS 2019) is hosted this year by the School of Engineering, Tufts University on its Medford, MA Campus. The event will take place on 15 - 16 November 2019.

The Call for Papers (due 31 July 2019) is now available on the conference website.

Confirmed Technical Co-Sponsors include IEEE-USA, IEEE Region 1, IEEE Boston Section, IEEE Standards Association, IEEE Technology & Engineering Management Society (TEMS), and IEEE Reliability Society.

Speakers confirmed to date include:
  • Gil Cooke, Chair, IEEE Boston Section (Welcome Address)
  • Karen Panetta, Dean of Graduate Engineering Education, School of Engineering, Tufts University (Welcome Address)
  • Tom Coughlin, President IEEE-USA (Keynote)
  • Babak Dastgheib-Beheshti, Region 1 Director (Keynote)
  • Carole D. Graas, President, IEEE Reliability Society (Plenary Panellist)
  • John Havens, IEEE Standards Association (Plenary Panellist)
  • Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech, Chair, IEEE SSIT Standards Committee (Plenary Panellist)
  • Xinghuo Yu, President, IEEE Industrial Electronics Society (Plenary Panellist)
We invite proposals for papers, parallel discussion panels and participatory workshops focused on the relationship between technology, policy, and social issues ranging from economic and ethical to socio-cultural and environmental topics.

Priority will be given to submissions addressing one or more of SSIT’s Five Pillars (Sustainable Development, Ethics/Human Values, Universal Access, Societal Impacts, Protecting the Planet) and Intersections between the Social Implications of Technology and:
  • Sustainable Development (including ICT4D) and Multi-Stakeholder Co-Design
  • Net-Neutrality
  • GEOValue, Climate, Environment, and Sustainable Technologies
  • Ethical Standards, Autonomous Vehicles, and Artificial Intelligence
  • Ethical Use of Big Data, Blockchain, Human Genome Editing, IoT, Neurotechnology, and Open Data
  • Current Challenges in Technology Policy
  • Balancing National Security Interests with Personal Privacy
IEEE Members, particularly from IEEE Boston Section, R1 and Division VI Societies, are invited to join the Technical Program Committee (where your responsibilities will include providing constructive, actionable feedback on papers) and promote the Call for Papers. Please contact Paul M Cunningham (pcunningham@ieee.org) to confirm which areas you can address.
 
 
 
 
Call for Nominations to SSIT Leadership Roles: SSIT NEEDS YOU!
 
 
The IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) is an active IEEE society focused on the challenges, results, and implications of the continuing advances and interactions of technology and society. SSIT provides forums for IEEE and technical communities and societies to interact, and to understand and address the challenges and opportunities that result from the progress of technology in the contemporary world. Through our website, all members have access to publications, conferences, social media groups, blogs, and local events.

We seek nominations for active volunteers to take up the following positions, which are directly involved in setting up and carrying out the Society’s goals, directions, and activities:

SSIT Board of Governors (BoG) Member-at-Large (2020-2022)
A three-year term as a voting member of the BoG. Meetings via telecon are held monthly. BoG members are involved in SSIT activities (e.g., committees, conferences, publications, chapters, website, etc.) and are directly involved in setting the directions of SSIT. BoG members may be reelected for no more than two consecutive terms. Three positions become open each year.

SSIT President-Elect (2020-2024)
A five-year leadership opportunity that progresses through the roles of President-Elect, President, and Past President of the SSIT. The elected individual will play a leadership role in SSIT activities and directions. The overall commitment includes:
  • One year (2020) as President-Elect of SSIT to become familiar with the Society’s operation, start on long-range plans, and ramp up for the next two years as President;
  • Two years (2021-2022) as President of SSIT to lead the Society by: chairing BoG meetings, attending three IEEE TAB meetings at the IEEE Board of Directors series each year (financial support is available for travel to these meetings), setting directions for the Society, and implementing changes and long-range plans;
  • Two years (2023-2024) as Past President of SSIT to continue to influence SSIT directions and plans, and to serve as chair of the SSIT Nominations and Appointments Committee.
Note that nominees for President-Elect must have been a voting member of the BoG for at least one year in the past six years.

The Society is looking for but not requiring prior experience in IEEE activities, and/or background in economics, marketing, conference planning, finances, chapter development, membership development, and web updating activities. Self-nominations are welcome, and we invite all SSIT members willing to serve the Society in a leadership position to put their names forward. If you are interested in nominating yourself or another SSIT member, please submit a one-page synopsis of the nominee’s experience with emphasis on their strong points to the Nominations Chair, Paul Cunningham, at paul@iimg.com. Please include your IEEE Membership Number and contact information. Nominations are due by 17 July 2019.
 
 
 
 
Call for Nominations: IEEE SSIT Awards
 
 
IEEE SSIT has three major awards, all of which are open for nominations at this time.

The Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest is open to anyone, or group, who performs an important public service, possibly at the risk of career or reputation. This includes anyone, whether or not in the engineering profession, or a member of IEEE. Further information on recipients can be found here.

The Brian M. O’Connell SSIT Distinguished Service Award is for SSIT volunteers who have demonstrated outstanding service for the benefit of SSIT. More information on this award can be found here.

The SSIT Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility is given to an individual or team for exceptional contribution, or outstanding career contribution in the field of the social implications of technology. Further information can be found here.

To nominate an individual, submit information to Michael Cardinale (cardinal@ieee.org). Include the individual’s contact information – name, address, phone, email, professional history (year, organization and position), and the proposed citation in 25 words or less. The nominator must also submit their own contact information.
 
 
 
 
Introducing your Board of Governors (BoG)
 
 
In our continuing series of short introductions to the current slate of SSIT BoG members, we present past SSIT President and current SSIT Conferences and Nominations Chair Paul Cunningham and BoG member through 2020 and SSIT Newsletter Editor Heather Love.

As noted in previous newsletters, we hope that these vignettes will help you get to know a bit more about the group’s varied (and impressive!) areas of expertise and backgrounds, the specific goals that different individuals have for their time on the SSIT BoG, and the more general aspirations they each have for the future of the SSIT.

We encourage you to contact BoG members whose interests and areas of expertise overlap with your own, and we hope that these introductions can serve as a starting point for building camaraderie and connections within SSIT as a whole.
 
 
 
 
photo of Heather LoveMy name is Paul Cunningham and I am currently volunteering with IEEE SSIT as: Past President and VP Conferences; Founder, IEEE SSIT IST-Africa SIGHT; and Member, IEEE SSIT Standards Committee. I served as Associate Editor, IEEE Technology and Society Magazine (2015-2016), and look forward to serving as Co-Editor, IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society. I served on Committees reporting to the IEEE Board of Directors (IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee 2016-Present, and IEEE Global Public Policy Committee 2017-2018) and as Associate Editor, IEEE Access (2018-Present).

Professionally, I work across the public, private, education, and research sectors as: President & CEO, IIMC (STEM related technology, strategy and policy consultancy); Director, IST-Africa Institute (strategic collaboration with Ministries responsible for Innovation, Science and Technology in 18 African Member States); Coordinator, mHealth4frika (strategic collaboration with Ministries of Health in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and South Africa); Visiting Professor, International University of Management (IUM, Namibia); and Visiting Senior Fellow, Wrexham Glyndŵr University (Wales).

Supported by European Commission and African Union Commission, IST-Africa Institute is a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and WSIS 2018 Prizes Champion – International and Regional Cooperation. I was recognised by Enterprise Ireland as an Irish Champion of EU Research (2015, 2017), and my research interests include: social implications of technology; ethics; technology addressing societal challenges in resource constrained environments; and entrepreneurship in Africa.

I have benefited from an inter-disciplinary academic background, including both Humanities (Trinity College Dublin; Kodály Institute of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music) and STEM (UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School; DSV, Stockholm University).

While IEEE SSIT has made good progress in recent years (establishing IEEE SSIT IST-Africa SIGHT, Committees for SSIT’s 5 Pillars, and IEEE SSIT Standards Committee; launching IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society; and holding impactful and profitable conferences), we still have much to achieve.

As an IEEE Society, IEEE SSIT has the opportunity to achieve wide social impact by leveraging IEEE’s global reach, particularly in the areas of Global Standards, Public Policy, and Sustainable Development, where social implications of technology and ethics are increasingly important considerations. We now have the necessary committee structures (Standards and SSIT Pillars), impactful conferences, and influential publications in place as well as increasingly active members and enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers.

However, we now need to reprioritise utilisation of SSIT finances to invest in supporting our members: growing the SSIT Conference Portfolio to support regional engagement (facilitating greater accessibility); supporting operationalisation of volunteer activities by SSIT Committees (Standards, SSIT’S Five Pillars); establishing new chapters and stimulating greater intensity of existing Chapter and IEEE SSIT IST-Africa SIGHT activities; and strengthening mutually beneficial collaboration with other IEEE OUs, particularly MGA and Division VI.

If you wish to volunteer or share ideas, please contact me – pcunningham@ieee.org. I appreciate your support for my candidacy to serve as Director-Elect (2020) and Director (2021–2022) Division VI.
 
 
 
 
photo of Heather Love My name is Heather Love, and I am an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada). It’s true—I’m not an engineer! However, even outside of my SSIT roles, I work closely with engineering programs and conduct interdisciplinary research on topics related to engineering, technology, and society.

Most specifically, a large part of my job involves teaching first-year communication courses to electrical and computer engineering students, where we cover all kinds of topics related to the social and ethical dimensions of the technical work that goes on in those fields. In addition, my own academic research takes an interdisciplinary approach to literary studies: I explore connections that link early twentieth-century experimental literature to the later technological developments associated with cybernetics—technologies that are linked to the information management and data processing systems that permeate today’s world. I’m currently working on a book project that shows how texts by modernist authors like T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and Virginia Woolf are part of the cultural pre-history to the technological cybernetics that folks like Norbert Wiener, Claude Shannon, and Ross Ashby developed. If you want to find out what T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf have to teach you about managing the overwhelming demands of our social-media-saturated world, stay tuned for the book!

I have been involved as a volunteer with the SSIT since 2014. During that time, I have served as guest editor for two special issues of the IEEE Technology & Society Magazine (with Phil Hall and Shiro Uesugi in 2015, and with Katina Michael and Judy Wajcman in 2017), as Chair of Interdisciplinary Engagement on the planning committee for the 2016 “Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century: Thinking Physical Machines” conference, and as an elected Board of Governors Member-at-Large since 2018. As you likely already know, I am also the current editor for the SSIT’s monthly newsletter, a post I have held since October 2016 – please send me updates about SSIT activities in your area so that we can feature them in future issues!

I believe that the SSIT’s unique focus on broad-reaching social, ethical, and environmental issues holds great potential to attract an interdisciplinary membership from both within and beyond the “borders” of the engineering profession. One way that we can work towards that end—and also increase SSIT’s overall global visibility—is by organizing and sponsoring events at the chapter and regional level that (a) bring together engineers, professionals, academics, and members of the public who hail from diverse fields, and (b) open up cross-discipline conversations about topics related to technology, society, and ethics.

I am currently working with Waterloo/Guelph SSIT Chapter chair Rozita Dara to organize a speaker series during the 2019-2020 academic year that will contribute to these goals; I invite SSIT members in this area of Ontario to contact me (heather.love@uwaterloo.ca) if you’re interested in getting involved with that initiative, or even simply in getting your name on the email list for updates about the project. More generally, I would love to hear from SSIT members around the world who are interested in cultivating these types of interdisciplinary connections. Please get in touch!
 
 
 
 
Call for New SSIT Chapters

As a reminder, our website shows that several IEEE regions are looking for motivated individuals to spearhead new SSIT Chapters.

If you are an SSIT member who is not currently affiliated with a specific Chapter of the organization, please consider starting one in your area!

 
 
 
 
 
It only takes 12 members to form a Chapter, and by taking the lead, you can help mobilize the people around you engage in discussions about technology’s role in society and tackle the challenges involved in advancing technology for humanity.

Petitions for IEEE Society and Technical Council Chapters and Joint Chapters can be submitted online, and questions about SSIT Chapter formation can be directed to SSIT Chapters Chair Ramalatha Marimuthu at SSITchapters@ieee.org.
 
 
 
 
Call for Expressions of Interest to Host SSIT Conferences
 
 
SSIT is a sponsor of IEEE conferences in the field of technology and society. As a reminder, we are currently seeking expressions of interest from SSIT members interested in hosting the following conferences in their cities.

IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS)
ISTAS is the flagship conference of SSIT, addressing issues across the range of SSIT interests. Information about the most recent ISTAS conference is available here.
Expressions of interest are welcome for 2020, 2021, and 2022.

IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW)
The 21CW conference series addresses the technical, social and personal legacy of the founder of cybernetics, control theory, and information ethics, Norbert Wiener. It has been held in Boston (2014), Melbourne (2016), with satellite activities in India 2014, 2016, 2018, and additional information about these events is available here.
Expressions of interest are welcome for 2020 and 2022.

If you are interested in hosting one of these events, or if you would like further information, please contact SSIT Conferences Chair Paul Cunningham at pcunningham@ieee.org.
 
 
Publications
 
 
IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society Submission Portal open soon!
Submitted by Katina Michael
 
 
 
 
In March 2020, the IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society will launch. The ManuscriptCentral submissions portal is set to open within about a month, and founding editor-in-chief, Professor Katina Michael, will be accepting submissions for the multidisciplinary peer reviewed Transactions of original research. Regular papers are expected to be up to 10 pages, short papers up to six pages, and brief papers up to two pages, using the IEEE Transactions template.

Submissions must address a socio-technical research area with empirical results. Regular papers should make both a theoretical and practical contribution to knowledge; short papers should publish empirical results; and brief papers may act as a position statement of original research drawing on peer reviewed research outcomes.

For expressions of interest to serve on the editorial board as an ongoing reviewer or associate editor, or for other enquiries please email katina.michael@asu.edu.

More information about the approved IEEE Transactions can be found on this website.
 
 
Conferences
 
 
 
 
True North 2019
Waterloo, Ontario | 19-20 June 2019
 
 

The True North festival and conference brings 2500 of the brightest, boldest, carbon-based badasses to Canada’s hottest tech community. Join us. Roll up your sleeves. Help make Tech for Good the core of digital life, work, and play.

 
 
 
 
 
 
IEEE Africon 2019
Accra, Ghana | 25-27 September 2019


The bi-annual IEEE Region 8 flagship conference in Africa, IEEE AFRICON takes place this year at the GIMPA Executive Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana. IEEE AFRICON is financial co-sponsored by IEEE Ghana Section, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) and IEEE Region 8.

We are inviting SSIT and other IEEE members to volunteer to provide constructive, actionable feedback on papers as a member of the Technical Program Committee. Please contact Paul M Cunningham (pcunningham@ieee.org) to confirm which areas you can address.
 
 
 
 
International Conference on Computing, Power and Communication Technologies (GUCON 2019)
New Delhi, India | 27-28 September 2019


GUCON 2019 is being organized by Galgotias University, India and will take place 27-28 September 2019. The University is based in Greater Noida (NCR New Delhi, India), has an enrollment of over 19,000 students across more than 100 Undergraduate and Post Graduate programs, is devoted to excellence in teaching, research and innovation, and to develop leaders who'll make a difference to the world.

GUCON 2019 is a non-profit conference and it will provide an opportunity to the practicing engineers, academicians and researchers to meet in a forum to discuss various issues and its future direction in the field of electrical, computer and electronics engineering and technologies. The conference aims to put together the experts from the relevant areas to disseminate their knowledge and experience for the relevant future research scope. The conference is technically sponsored by various societies and Institutes. There are multiple tracks in the conference covering almost all areas of Electronics, Computer and Electrical Engineering:
  • TRACK A: Data Mining and Big Data Analysis
  • TRACK B: Communication Technologies
  • TRACK C: Cloud Computing and Computer Networks
  • TRACK D: Power Electronics and Control Engineering
  • TRACK E: Power and Energy Systems
  • TRACK F: Machines and renewable energy
  • TRACK G: Electronics devices, circuits and systems
  • TRACK H: Signal processing
  • TRACK I: Bioinformatics, multimedia and machine learning
  • TRACK J: Robotics and artificial intelligence
  • TRACK K: Language technologies and information retrieval
Confirmed keynote speakers include:
  • Prof. N. R. Pal, President, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, USA
  • Prof. Joydeep Mitra, Michigan State University, USA
  • Prof. Marcin Paprzycki, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  • Dr. Daleep Mohla, IEEE Industry Applications Society, USA
  • Mr. Deepak Mathur, Director-Elect, IEEE Region 10
  • Prof. Vincenzo Piuri, University of Milan, Italy
  • Prof Valentina E Balas, Romania
  • Prof. L. C. Jain, Australia and Many World Leaders
Website: www.gucon.org
Email Address: gucon2019@gmail.com
 
 
 
 
9th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC)
Seattle, WA, USA | 17-20 October 2019


The 9th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference takes place in DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport. Financial Co-Sponsors are IEEE Region 6, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology, and IEEE Seattle Section.

Papers are invited for focus areas, including but not limited to: Agriculture and Food Security (SDG2); Good Health and Well Being (SDG3); Quality Education (SDG4); Clean Water & Sanitation (SDG6); Affordable & Clean Energy; Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness, Response & Recovery; Communication/Connectivity in Support of Development.

We are inviting SSIT and other IEEE members to volunteer to provide constructive, actionable feedback on papers as a member of the Technical Program Committee. Please contact Prof. Paul M Cunningham (pcunningham@ieee.org) to confirm which areas you can address.
 
 
 
 
 
 
EPIC 2019 - Agency
Providence, RI, USA | 9-12 November 2019


Registration is open for EPIC2019. EPIC is the leading international conference on ethnography in business. Our attendees are a diverse group of practitioners and scholars from every industry and fields such as the social sciences, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Human Computer Interaction (HCI), and design.

Our theme this year is Agency:
What does it mean to have agency in an increasingly automated world? Businesses are investing in "intelligent" technologies that promise to take humans "out of the loop." But human agency is not disappearing-it’s evolving, and humanistic perspectives are more essential than ever. EPIC2019 will explore how our models of behavior and culture shape spaces of opportunity and risk for diverse people and organizations. We invite ethnographers and technologists of all backgrounds to advance the value of our work through the prism of agency.

Be part of the community.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Information and Communication Technology for African Development 2019 (ICT4AD'19)
Yaounde, Cameroon
  | 26-28 November 2019  
Call for Papers: 31 July

The 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technology for African Development (ICT4AD’19) is organized in Yaounde, Cameroon by ANTIC (National Agency for Information and Communication Technology) – IST-Africa Partner for Cameroon, and African Centre for Women, Information and Communications Technology (ACWICT) and Financial Co-Sponsored by IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology.

Papers are invited on all aspects of ICT for Development, including but not limited to: Theoretical Aspects in Information System; Cultural Issues of ICT in Africa; Social Issues of ICT in Africa; ICT for Digital Transformation; ICT for Education; Applied ICT projects

We are inviting SSIT and other IEEE members to volunteer to provide constructive, actionable feedback on papers as a member of the Technical Program Committee. Please contact Paul M Cunningham (pcunningham@ieee.org) to confirm which areas you can address.