Project description

The FutuProta project examines ‘technology protagonism’, i.e., how the future citizens, as private persons, employees, entrepreneurs, or policymakers – and also as technology developers – would be able to act as technology protagonists who have the ability to question digital technology use and demand for socially sustainable technological solutions that augment humans and societies, and even design such technologies themselves. Sustainability is here understood widely, to cover the ethical and societal aspects of technology design and use.

Theoretically, the study relies on nexus analysis as its research framework. Social sustainability and value co-creation lenses are integrated together, with the aim for value co-creation to all stakeholders, leading to empathetic understanding of others. Data will be collected with children, teens and young adults. Data collection methods are qualitative and include observation, interviews, design workshops, and essays written by participants. Genuine participation of everybody is aimed for. Data will be analysed taking discursive perspectives. Participants are invited to analyze data and evaluate findings together with the researchers.

The project creates 1) a theoretical framework of technology protagonism, 2) methodological guidelines for supporting technology protagonism to emerge in design and making context, 3) methodological guidelines for nexus analytical enquiry into technology protagonism, and 4) methods for evaluating development of technology protagonism for researchers’ and practitioners’ use, to help understanding the progress.

The four-year project started in fall 2022 and is funded by the Academy of Finland. 

Research team at the Interact research unit

The principal investigator has extensive background in qualitative research and in research related to children in the fields of CCI, HCI and Information Systems from over ten years of research, with social sustainability, including participatory research on empowerment and inclusion of users in technology design the main focus of her research (~70 publications on the topic). She has experience of leading research group work and research projects, as well as guiding of doctoral studies and master’s theses. She has published in highly ranked IS and HCI/CCI journals and conferences on project related topics. In the INTERACT Research Unit she works with a highly talented team of postdocs and PhD students studying this topic area.