Prato CIRN 2013

"Nexus, Confluence, and Difference: Community Archives meets Community Informatics"

CIRN Prato Conference Oct 28-30 2013, Monash Centre, Prato Italy

Conference Proceedings

Abstracts and papers from all contributions can be found via this link. Note that papers have been published in the proceedings subject to the author's discretion. In some cases, only the abstract has been published.

The Conference Call

In 2013 the Prato Conference was jointly organised by CIRN, the Center for Information as Evidence, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and the Centre for Organisational and Social Informatics at Monash University. It will explore the rich synergy of experiences and viewpoints amongst Community Informatics and Community Archives researchers.

Community Informatics is primarily concerned with improving the wellbeing of people and their communities, through more effective use of ICTs. Community Informatics foregrounds social change and transformative action in emergent social-technical relationships rather than prediction and control. This orientation also has much in common with Development Informatics.

Community-centric archival research, education and practice are concerned with empowering communities in support of such desirable objectives as democracy, human and civil rights, self-determination, sustainable development, and social inclusion. Recordkeeping and archiving are fundamental infrastructural components supporting community information, self-knowledge and memory needs, thus contributing to resilient communities and cultures.

The 2012 Prato Conference was the first time that people from Community Informatics and Community Archives came together. Much of the research that CI people were reporting was of great interest to archivists because it addressed memory and identity infrastructures and how technologies can support them. New approaches to archival research, education and practice that support community-based scholarship provide an alternative lens for looking at Community Informatics research, education and practice. Community Informatics researchers gained new insights into the characteristics, motivations and interests of diverse, often underrepresented communities.

2012 Conference participants identified a strong nexus between the two areas of research in which closer interaction could result in significant support for each other’s activity. There also appears to be a strong alignment in values around the principles of transformative research, social justice, and giving voices to those who currently lack a voice.

Emerging themes from the conference (closing plenary notes)

  • Top-down thinking to see the broader system interconnectedness AND bottom-up participatory action to achieve local, immediate objectives
  • Participatory action/activism to address injustice cuts across many of our research agendas
  • Highlight stories of confronting power, privilege/supremacy, & oppression
    • 2012: Ann Milne
    • 2013: Jennifer O’Neal
  • Inspirational work, especially from the emerging generation of scholars
    • Michelle Caswell’s best paper
    • The PhD papers ALL received recognition as substantial contributions
    • David Nemer and LAN Houses
    • The sense-making panel
  • There clearly are intersecting points of research
    • Discovering this week that at some point we had began informally doing CA or CI
    • Graeme Johanson and & Kirsty Williamson's  presentation merging citizen science, CI & CA
    • Research Roundtable
  • Probable outputs from conference
    • Learned/learning from each others presentations and papers
    • New colleagues/small collaborations
    • The big, transformative research project
    • Working group to create a “Framework for community informatics education, practice, and research”, a broadly, jointly authored manifesto of values
      • Especially informed by work of Anne, Micelle, and the PACG
      • For education, by practitioners (inside & out of academia), formal research
  • Outcomes & Impacts: as usual, for future research and investigation

Conference Chairs

  • Sue McKemmish, Monash University
  • Anne Gilliland, UCLA
  • Andrew Flinn, University College London
  • Tom Denison, Monash University
  • Aldo de Moor, CommunitySense, Netherlands
  • Larry Stillman, Monash University
  • Nicola Strizzolo, Univ. of Udine, Italy
  • Manuela Farinosi (Chair, PhD colloquium)


  • Fiorella de Cindio, University of Milan, Italy
  • Mike Arnold, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Ann Bishop, Univ. of Illinois, USA
  • Gunilla Bradley, Royal Institute of Tech., Sweden
  • Peter Day, University of Brighton, UK
  • Wallace Chigona, Univ. of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Barbara Craig, Victoria Univ. of Wellington, NZ
  • Vesna Dolnicar, University of Lubljana, Slovenia
  • Alison Elliot, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Manuela Farinosi, University of Udine, Italy
  • Leopoldina Fortunati, University of Udine, Italy
  • Ricardo Gomez, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Marlien Herselman, Meraka Institute, CSIR, South Africa
  • Sarai Lastra, Turabo Univ., Puerto Rico
  • Mike Martin, University of Newcastle, UK
  • Harekrishna Misra,Institute of Rural Management, Anand India.
  • TJ McDonald, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Mauro Sarrica, La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
  • Douglas Schuler, The Public Sphere Project, The Evergreen State College, USA
  • Eduardo Villanueva Mansilla, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
  • Steve Thompson, Teesside University, UK
  • Will Tibben, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • Janet Toland, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
  • Emiliano Trere,Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, México
  • Gilson Schwartz, Univ. São Paulo, Brazil
  • Andy Williamson, Future Digital, UK
  • Martin Wolske, University of Illinois, USA
  • Larry Stillman, Monash University, Australia

Conference Administration

  • Amalia Sabiescu, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland
  • Nemanja Memarovic, Università della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland
  • Website, Misita Anwar, Monash University

Refereeing Statement

  • The Conference Proceedings contains referred, non-refereed and PhD colloquium papers from the conference and has been prepared for your convenience. Only those papers provided by authors have been published.
  • Papers and presentations are published, ‘as is’, in a pdf format, after refereeing or other advice. Powerpoints that have been made available have been  published.
  • Some papers are not published upon the request of the author or they were not received for final publication.
  • All full papers in the refereed category were subject to blind peer review by at least two reviewers, and reviewers' comments returned to the authors. Authors were then required to make changes and if necessary, a further review conducted by the peer review co-chairs before final approval.
  • This is a publication (E1) for a conference publication for Australian participants.
  • ISBN 978-0-9874652-1-4 Title: Nexus, Confluence, and Difference: Community Archives meets Community Informatics Subtitle: Prato CIRN Conference Oct 28-30 2013, Monash Centre, Prato Italy Editors: Larry Stillman, Amalia Sabiescu, Nemanja Memarovic Centre for Community Networking Research, Centre for Social Informatics, Monash University. Year of Publication: 2013