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The 16TH CIRN (Community Informatics Research Network) Conference was held at the Monash University Prato Centre from 24-26 October

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Community Informatics is primarily concerned with improving the well-being of people and their communities through more effective use of ICTs, and this year’s theme, “Research, Practice and Creative Endeavour that Aim to Shape and Influence Policy and Practice”, was designed to explore ways in which research in many countries currently being undertaken could achieve greater impact in the field.

 

This year’s keynote speakers were Natalie Pang (National University of Singapore) and Eduardo Villanueva Mansilla (Pontificia Universidad Catolica Del Peru). Attendees came from 13 countries.  Taking very different approaches, one with a focus on the growth and nature of social media, and the other on the impact of globalization, they reflected on radical changes to the nature of communities and the impact that those changes are having on the discipline which also extends into international development and archives, libraries and memory studies. Other presentations focused on the theme in terms of specific research projects, drawn from not only community informatics but closely related aspects of development informatics and archival science.

 

Two special workshops were also held as part of the conference. “Towards a network for Human Rights in and to Records in the Information Age” dealt with the pressing need for the recordkeeping profession to develop a human rights agenda capable of dealing with the disruption of communities internationally, while “Human Values and Artificial Intelligence” explored the emerging, urgent and extremely complex problems arising from the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence.