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29 November 09:00 - 18:00Oslo School of Architecture and Design

‘Digital Sjølråderett’ is a one day conference at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design that asks what the ‘digital shift’ means in a Nordic setting.

What is at stake when global digitalization trends meet the Nordic welfare states? What kind of challenges and possibilities does the digital shift bring about for societal development, policy, and design? How can the digital shift be used to promote societal values of trust, equity, and collective rights? And is there a Nordic model of digital design in the making that could challenge the hegemony of Silicon Valley? The name of the conference, 'Digital sjølråderett', comes from ‘Sjølråderett’, the Nordic term for the right to societal self-determination.

This conference is hosted by the research network of Digital Urban Living at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, in collaboration with writer and designer Dan Hill, Director of Strategic Design at Vinnova, the Swedish Innovation Agency.

The conference aims at addressing multidisciplinary issues of designing for a Nordic ‘digital shift’ - spanning societal development, design, governance, technology, urbanism and architecture. Across cases and discussions the conference addresses what ‘digital sjølråderett’ could mean in the future? And how this right could be challenged and developed?

Within societal and urban development, the ‘digital shift’ is currently presented as the vision of ‘smart societies’ and ‘smart cities'. Many such strategies have recently been criticized on issues of privacy, data-ownership, lack of regulation and changing private-public power relations. Seen in a specific Nordic perspective, our additional claim is that many such developments challenge basic values of the Nordic societal model, such as trust, equity, and inclusion, as well as issues of collective rights and responsibilities.

In this conference, issues of digitalization will be discussed not just as technology, but as debates on social values, culture, and democracy. Secondly, technology will be approached from a broader societal perspective - not just as tools for solving current problems - but as resources for making alternative cultures and futures. Finally, we will discuss how to further develop rights of digital self-determination, be that for nations, regions, cities, communities and citizens.

Questions for a Nordic digital shift

At the 'Digital sjølråderett' conference we will  be discussing issues of digital self-governance in the Nordics by addressing three key questions:

Session 1: How does the digital shift change how we move? 

In the opening session, we ask the seemingly straight-forward question of how the digital shift changes how people move about? However, this is a question that also actualizes deeper problematics of ownership, data policy, design methodologies and the framing of everyday urban cultures.

Session 2: How does the digital shift change how we live together?

The second session takes a closer look at how societal participation, cultures and public services are affected by the digital shift. By presenting and discussing a series of case-studies, we will explore how public cultures, services and places are changing as well as ascribed new roles and functions.

Session 3: How does the digital shift change how we collaborate?

The third session looks into how the digital shift might be used to improve and enhance modes and practices of participation and collaboration in society. In order to do so, we will bring up examples from urban planning, local democracy, and public governance and services.

Closing Keynote

Internationally acclaimed writer, artist and technologist James Bridle will be the closing keynote of the conference. Bridle's book "New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future",  published by Verso in 2018, addresses the relations between technology, knowledge, society and the future. At Digital Sjølråderett, Bridle will address and challenge perspectives on democracy, digitalisation and societal development in a keynote titled 'Critical paths'.

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Program and speakers

Digital sjølråderett presents a mix of cases and discussions framed by research on design and the digital shift. The conference is chaired by Einar Sneve Martinussen (Chair of Interaction design at AHO) and Dan Hill (Director for Strategic Design at Vinnova).

  • 09:00: Shaping futures: Welcome to The Oslo School of Architecture and Design - Rachel K. B. Troye, Pro-rector and Head of the Institute of Design
  • 09:10: Digital Sjølråderett - Introduction to the conference theme - With co-chairs Einar Sneve Martinussen and Dan Hill

Session 1: How does the digital shift change how we move?

Session 2: How does the digital shift change how we live together?

Session 3: How does the digital shift change how we collaborate?

Session 4: Closing keynote

  • 16:30 Design for a Nordic digital shift - Closing remarks by co-chairs Einar Sneve Martinussen and Dan Hill
  • 16:45 Critical paths - Closing keynote by James Bridle

All you need to know

Registration: 'Digital sjølråderett' is a free conference, but participants have to register.

Time: Friday November 29th 2019  from 09:00 - 18:00 (Closing keynote James Bridle at 16:30). 

Venue: The Oslo School of Architecture and Design in the Sverre Fehn Main Lecture Hall (A2)

Free event - Register now!