Colloquium Series Fall 2017 – Dr. Lisa Nathan

Title: Humility, Discomfort & Awe: Developing human capacities through information system design

Abstract: Critical challenges, unlikely to be resolved in a single human lifespan, face peoples around the world.  Attending to the effects of colonization, genocide and climate change are a few of the harsh realities facing future generations. Dr. Nathan lays the groundwork for a discussion of how longer-term, aspirational thinking can reorient how we design and interact with information systems. She provides examples of people leveraging information systems to: 1) expand the potential of the human psyche; 2): enrich social fabrics; 3) envision beyond the human lifespan; and 4) disrupt institutionalized, infrastructural, and systemic inequalities. She argues for the need to cultivate our capacities to engage in difficult conversations rather than continuing the trend of delegating ethical decision making to algorithms hidden from view.

Bio: Lisa P. Nathan is Associate Professor at the iSchool@UBC (School of Library Archival and Information Studies, University of British Columbia). She collaborates with inspiring, insightful people to (re)imagine and (re)design information practices—ways we manage information—to address long-term challenges (e.g., decolonization, social justice, environmental resilience). Lisa is Coordinator for the iSchool’s First Nations Concentration. She teaches in the areas of information policy and Indigenous initiatives.