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Shaping the Network Society: Patterns for Participation, Action and Change Shaping the Network Society: 
Patterns for Participation, Action and Change
Help build a Pattern Language for civic and community communication.
Click on the "Pattern System" button below to view -- or add -- patterns.
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Pattern System
Seattle Statement
Public Sphere Project
Seattle Information
     information and communication
infrastructure is being shaped

      But by whom and to what ends?

Buy the proceedings! (contents)

Researchers, community workers, social activists, educators and students, journalists, artists, policy-makers, and citizens are all concerned about the shape that this new infrastructure will take.

Will it meet the needs of all people?
Will it help the citizenry address current and future issues?
Will it promote democracy, social justice, sustainability?
Will the appropriate research be conducted?
Will equitable policies be enacted?

Help Shape the Network Society!
Giant media conglomerates and computer companies are rapidly increasing their control of the information and communication infrastructure upon which this public sphere depends. Governments, too are often part of this problem: instead of promoting access and multi-way access to this infrastructure they actively or passively discourage civic sector uses.

Civic society is fighting back in a million ways. The opportunities and threats offered by a global "network society" are too great to be ignored.

The "Shaping the Network Society" symposium is designed to help us build a "public sphere" where people learn about, discuss, deliberate, and take action on important issues such as economic disparity, militarization, environmental degradation, racism or sexism is critical to our future.

Join us in (sometimes) sunny Seattle May 16-19 2002 for our eighth bi-annual "Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing" (DIAC) symposium. (detailed schedule)

The symposium program includes invited speakers, panel discussions, and pattern presentations as well as numerous opportunities for informal working sessions -- both planned and spontaneous:

  • Keynote address: "A New Politics of Places on Global Networks," by Saskia Sassen, Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology, The University of Chicago
  • Keynote address: "The Digital Divide, Facts and Fiction," by Larry Irving, former undersecretary of Commerce
  • Keynote address: "Open Research Access for an Open Society," by Stevan Harnad, Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Southampton
  • Two events: Naaperori Shirampari Ashenika Mino of the Ashanika Indigenous community of Marankiari Bajo (Territory of the Snakes) in Central Amazon Zone Peru
  • Workshop: Wireless Community Networking 101
  • Panel discussion with Stuart Cowan, Conservation Economy Research Director, Ecotrust, A Pattern Language for Living Communication
  • Workshop convened by Richard Lowenberg and Richard Civille on Preparing for United Nations 2003 "World Summit on the Information Society"
  • Other topics: Global forces: Citizen voices; Exploring the digital divide; Human rights activism: Roles for privacy and security; "Open content" research: Making research freely accessible; Marginalization or transformation? ICT for Indigenous people and developing countries; The Internet after 9-11; Community access to broadband; Values and design; The virtual bonfire: The Internet and the future of organizing.
  • Pattern Presentations: 60 "patterns" on civic, community, and activist uses of information and communication technology.
  • Save time and money on hotels, airfare (for both domestic and international travel), and car rentals.
  • Explore some of Seattle's most important waterfront landmarks with a beautiful three-hour Lakes, Locks, and Lively Reception Cruise, a memorable passage from salt to fresh water through Seattle's famous Hiram Chittenden Locks. (additional charge)
And much, much more!!!

Pattern Orientation
The focus of this symposium will be on "patterns" that people can use to help them develop and use communication and information technology in ways that affirms human values.

We believe that this orientation will be useful and ultimately exciting for all participants. If you're tempted to submit a pattern we encourage you to do so. Although this approach may require slightly different thinking we believe that it will be worth the extra effort.

Patterns are SOLUTIONS to PROBLEMS in a given CONTEXT

Patterns can be observable actions, empirical findings, hypotheses, theories, or "best practices"

Patterns exist at all levels; they can be "global" as well as "local;", theoretical as well as practical

Patterns are the springboard for discussion, research, and activism

Pattern Submission
The preferred way to submit patterns is through the pattern resource site ( If you cannot access the intake site, please send your pattern(s) as email text (no attachments) to If you lack email access, you may submit your pattern(s) via surface mail to: Rod Carveth, School of Mass Communications, Texas Tech University, P.O. Box 43082, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA.

Please consult the help page (, for guidance on email and surface mail submission.

Please see the patterns page for more explanation about patterns (including examples) and the author's advice page to assist potential contributors.

Important Dates

August 1, 2001 Patterns can be entered via web page
October 15, 2001 Web registration available
March 18, 2002 extended abstracts (notfull papers) (based on accepted patterns and posters) due
April 20, 2002 Last day for early registration. (Fees go up April 21)
May 1, 2002 Last day to submit patterns for first pattern language
May 16 - 19, 2002 Shaping the Network Society Symposium; Seattle, Washington US

Sponsored by:
Public Sphere Project of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
National Communication Association Task Force on the Digital Divide


We'd like to acknowledge the generous support of several organizations. Travel grants provided by the Ford Foundation through the International Institute of Education. A grant for conference support and research was awarded by the Societal Dimensions of Engineering, Science, and Technology Program - Ethics and Values Studies, Research on Science and Technology office of the National Science Foundation. Travel assistance was also provided by the Open Society Institute.

We'd like to thank the University of Washington Department of Communication for its invaluable assistance as a co-sponsor of this symposium. Special thanks to Gerry Philipsen, Nancy Dosmann, Paul Ford, and Beatrice Restoule.

We'd also like to thank the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington and the School of Telecommunications at Ohio University.

Please contact symposium coordinator Doug Schuler with any questions or comments.

Updated April 11, 2002

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