How can the academy help build towards digital platforms, policies, and practices that centre the public good? The session explores how the digital systems that shape our contemporary institutions and information ecosystem have been weaponized by the rise of misinformation and datafication. “Digital by default” policies undermine social program participation, while pervasive surveillance and predatory practices are normalized. Trolling and bots are regular features of social landscapes, and scholars are often hesitant to engage online in sharing ideas or fighting the echo chamber. Even concepts of what it means to know in the contemporary sphere are increasingly generated outside the academy, in Silicon Valley AI frameworks. What does this mean for scholars, and for the future of knowledge in a data society? What responsibility does publicly-funded scholarship have to the publics undermined by the rise of big data and platform politics?
This conversation will bring forward the idea of a pro-social web, and frame an alternate logic of open participatory education, grounded in adult education histories and contemporary open practices. This will be a scaffolded and engaged discussion, with opportunities for connecting ideas to practice, and for generating new ideas, understandings, and relationships to the systems we participate in.