Join our workshop at the Philosophy of Human-Technology Relations conference!

“Agonistic engagement spaces: towards democratising the smart city”

Philosophy of Human-Technology Relations (held online), University of Twente, 4-7 November 2020

Workshop date & time: Thursday, 5 November, 17:15-18:45

In this workshop, we invite participants to engage and reflect on a methodological framework based on ‘agonistic engagement spaces’ (Mouffe, 2000) in the context of human-technology-city interactions in smart cities. As an alternative to consensus-oriented approaches, participants will explore ‘agonistic engagement spaces’ for their role in enabling diverse stakeholders, with potentially conflicting values and viewpoints on smart technology, to temporarily come together and define common goals for the city.   

Using concrete cases of technologies (e.g., digital twin, urban sensors, so-called Corona apps/dashboards, etc), the methodological framework comprises four main elements: 1) individual awareness, to highlight individual values and viewpoints associated with a specific technology; 2) collective struggle, to tease out contrasting perspectives and frame alternative futures; 3) shared meaning-making, to identify values and goals in common; and 4) collective action, to articulate a shared vision for the future of the city, including the role and shape of human-technology relations in it. 

Participants will be invited to reflect on how agonistic engagement spaces could help to reimagine the relationships between citizens, smart technologies and the city, potentially leading to new ‘social imaginaries’ (Bendor, 2018) that contribute to responsible smart city practices. 

We invite participants from various disciplines and fields of practice with an affinity or interest in ethical, political and societal issues associated with smart technology applications in cities.