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Session Overview
RN08_09: Science, Technology and Disaster Studies
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Antti Edward Silvast, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Location: UP.4.214
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Fourth Floor Oxford Road

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Planning Across Borders: Exploring the Emerging Ethics of Information Technology for Transboundary Disaster Preparedness

Katrina Petersen

Trilateral Research, United Kingdom

Crises, along with their environmental and societal needs, are increasingly made sense of using maps and centralised tools called common information spaces. These are built upon new data technologies that can compile information from a range of sources and are intended to act as tools to build collaborative insight into the situation beyond what any individual organisation can know. This paper explores how tools like these work when managing transboundary crises, where planners and responders have to engage with data from other organisations, based in different data frameworks, socio-political priorities, goals, and cultures of environmental risk. Drawing on the societal and ethical analysis of cross-border collaborative crisis planning platform developed in the 3-year long European Commission funded IN-PREP project (, this paper examines how the classification and ontological work necessary to bring the data together influences how preparedness and planning needs are understood. Grounded in action research that aims to directly engage the design work, this talk aims to better understand the ethical debates about who has the authority or responsibility to define a crisis and which social and environmental security measures are justified.

Domestication Theory and ANT as Theoretical Tools for Research on Digital Everyday Risks in connected households

Ardis Storm-Mathisen, Dag Slettemeås

Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

This paper discusses the potentials of combining Domestication theory and Actor Network Theory as tools to analyze digital everyday risks of connected households. Prior research makes evident that techno-material and socio-practical aspects of everyday life are central to the understanding and management of risks. This is not least the case for digital consumer risks in modern connected households as these are constituted through the interconnection of technical, social and human elements into complex ecosystems. This paper is an attempt to build a framework for analytical investigations and conceptualizations of what the integrated complex of material resources, reflexive projects and enactments of actors and their discursive and non-discursive knowledge of digital devices and infrastructures produce of risks in connected households. We discuss the fruitfulness of using domestication theory to conceptualize how specific digital technologies are passed from the market to the private and “tamed” by users (through processes of appropriation, objectification, incorporation and conversion) and how ANT perspective can be used to analyze how people, technologies, infrastructures, objects and products co-shape new associations and security risks in the context of the home.

Using 3D Technology to Increace Effeciveness of Communication in Crisis Situations

Grzegorz Banerski, Katarzyna Abramczuk

National Information Processing Institute, Poland

Common problem in crisis situations is unwillingness of the local communities to undertake individual safety measures when the threat is known to be serious but it seems abstract to members of the public. For example when water reaches critical levels a swollen river might seem like an interesting thing to see, but people will often have problems imagining what might follow, believing that the threat is real, or considering their own responsibilities. Putting it simply, they are not motivated to act.

We study whether their motivation can be increased if 3D technology is used for visualization of the potential scenarios. We were interested in two questions. First, we wanted to know whether this type of communication increased people’s willingness to act. Second, we wanted to know whether it enhanced or undermined the ability of the audience to remember what preventive actions should be undertaken.

In cooperation with service members experienced with flooding threat we composed a message containing warning about flooding threat and instructions for people in endangered area. We ran an experiment with three version of this message. In one of them we used 3D technique to visualize the consequences of flooding. The remaining two served as two types of baselines. We showed this messages to a random sample of people living in flood prone areas in Poland. The video was followed by a questionnaire on their motivation to act (based on Protection Motivation Theory) and on what they were able to recall from the instructions given.

Searching for the Development of a Crisis-Resilient Operational Definition of Social Innovation in Short Food Supply Chains

Eugenia Petropoulou1, Constantine Iliopoulos2, Irini Theodorakopoulou2, Vassiliki Petousi1

1University of Crete, Greece, Greece; 2Agricultural Economics Research Institute Hellenic Agricultural Organization-DEMETER

The current economic and social crisis that certain European states face leads to varied forms of risk and uncertainty within the agri-food supply chains. Short food supply chains are supposedly correcting market failures in the form of imbalanced bargaining power within the chain. But as socio-economic and environment volatility increases, only having capabilities to manage short food supply chain risks may not be enough, resilience factors also need to be integrated into daily operations. Social innovations are usually hypothesized to provide, among other things, resilient tools and means for addressing these market failures. Yet, we lack a concise, operational definition of social innovation that would enable researchers to measure it and thus test the above mentioned hypotheses. Our paper fills this knowledge gap by undertaking a systematic literature review on resilience factors in short food supply chains by proposing an operational definition of social innovation that will help to minimize risk and uncertainty in short food supply chains. In a companion paper we use this operational definition to measure social innovation along several dimensions and test previously stated hypotheses on the role of social innovation in short food supply chains. This paper will thus contribute to the development of a crisis-resilient operational definition of social innovation for short food supply chains.

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