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From unconscious polarization to conscious depolarization: change through design – intercultural design thinking workshop

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From unconscious polarization to conscious depolarization: change through design – intercultural design thinking workshop

 

SWPS University’s Department of Graphic Design would like to invite students to participate in a Design Thinking workshop, which will focus on good and bad sides of information technology and how it impacts social relations and contributes to disinformation.

September 26 – October 2, 2022
Oerlinghausen, Germany

Technology – a blessing and a curse

There are more than enough problems in today's world. Paradoxically, technological progress that was supposed to serve the common good, has not been successful in eliminating problems.

So far, we have been kindly accepting all benefits of digitalization, but we have reached a point where we can no longer treat technology as something benigne, something that is simply there for us to use. Although technology in itself is neither good nor bad, it surely is not neutral. It will become what we will make of it, and we constantly shape it, activly and passively. Moreover, every one of us can contribute to the creation of the digital present and future.

Yes, the future (of digitalization) is uncertain, but it is certain that it depends on the way we design the digital transformation of society, especially that we are gradually becoming aware that individual lifestyle and social accord are not so obvious. Therefore, experts keep warning that polarization of society by means of (social) media may reach an irreversible critical point.

Digitalization – disinformation – polarization –> radicalization?

Can we control what kind of information reaches us? Can we control what we read/watch/listen to? Is our thinking influenced by the content we consume? Who/what generates the reality/realities, which we experience? Who/what generates our political or shopping choices and decisions? Do we fall into an echo chamber unawares? How does matrix, i.e., the social (media) mechanism work? How do dark patters work? What can we do to become aware of our own information bubble and try to burst it? Is depolarization possible? Can we stop it? Is there any chance? What communication culture is needed to achieve this? What competencies are required?

We want to ask these and other questions during our workshop.

Our challenge is to look for alternative solutions. We will use the design thinking method in our search, and we hope that it will help us to discover some possibilities. It is not about choosing between the famous blue or red pill, because de facto that choice is nothing else, but another version of black and white thinking. We want to emphasize that we are interested in preventing polarization. Join us!

Please note: we like to experiment and we will.

Workshop topics

We are interested in the following topics and will focus our project around them:

Artificial Intelligence (AI), social media, content, customization, machine learning, social and information bubbles, polarization, digital transformation, human/user/planet center design, social divisions, creative tension, recommendation engines, digital dementia, social anxiety, local community, neighborhood, openness, diversity, verification of information, fake news, social change, empathy, understanding, web 3.0, decentralization, blockchain, problem solving, design thinking, “empathyzation”, creation, prototyping, testing, experimentation, seeing things differently.

Advantages

The workshops will be interactive. Good dynamics and casual work atmosphere are important to us. You will:

  • stop and critically analyze the current state concerning information and its impact on views, ideologies and social changes
  • learn the process of design thinking (and tools useful at different phases of the process) by prototyping a solution to a problem
  • have a chance to confront different worlds, views, perspectives... diversity, inspiration
  • participate in meetings, discussion, active relaxation, and have fun

Who should attend?

  • We invite young adults under 27 years of age, living in Poland or Germany, in particular those interested in communication and information technology.
  • The workshop will be conducted in the following languages: English, German and Polish.
  • The application deadline is September 20, 2022. The number of participants is limited. Apply now
  • Cost: EUR 80 (including accommodation, food, and the workshop) and travel costs. Travel costs will be reimbursed up to PLN 400 (approximately EUR 85).

The workshop is co-financed by the German-Polish Youth Office (GPYO).

Agenda

  • Arrival and check-in – September 26th at 12:00
    • 12:00-15:00 – meet and mingle
    • 15:00 coffee and snack break
    • 17:00 Welcome and presentations
    • 18:00 Dinner and introductions
  • Workshop starts: Tuesday, September 27th at 9:30
  • Workshop ends: Staurday, October 1st at 16:00
    • Free time: 16:00-20:00
  • Check-out by 10:00 on Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

 

Instructors

Dorota Płuchowska
Dorota Płuchowska
Ph.D. / Assistant Professor

is a lecturer at the Department of Graphic Design at SWPS University in Wrocław She is a sociologist, communication researcher, and political scientist. She observes and researches processes of sustainable social change using the systems theory approach. She promotes interdisciplinary, multimodal, and diverse management of organizational and group processes. She uses this approach in facilitating groups and teams. She is capable of controlling chaos, her own and others.

Tomasz Szeligowski
Tomasz Szeligowski
 

is a sociologist and communication researcher. He researches and designs user experience. He is also an academic lecturer and an amateur philosopher driven by curiosity. He is a fan of enduro biking, snowboarding, and breaking stereotypes by applying empathy. Recently, he has been interested in futurology, human-technology relationship, and the impact of technology on the universe’s condition. He likes strange situations and he (still) believes in people.

Date and Location

September 26th – October 2nd, 2022
Villa Welchen, Am Lehmstich 15, Oerlinghausen

Contact

Dorota Płuchowska
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Partners

Institut für Migrations- und Aussiedlerfragen Heimvolkshochschule St. Hedwigs-Haus e. V.

Department of Graphic Design at SWPS University in Wrocław

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