Call for Participation

The field of HCI in general and the NordiCHI community in particular, has long been involved in social sustainability issues, for example through research on accessibility and work environments (Bødker, 2006; Grudin, 2007). Furthermore, an increasing number of HCI researchers engage in environmental sustainability within the sub-field of Sustainable HCI (S-HCI). S-HCI was established at NordiCHI at the previous, 7th conference (Pargman, Eriksson et al., 2014). Moreover, the design conference From Business to Buttons[1] chose sustainability as its main theme in 2016. However, despite the fact that the field is expanding, several researchers have asked if we do enough, and, if we do the right things (Brynjarsdottir, Håkansson et al., 2012; Knowles, Blair et al., 2014; Silberman, Nathan et al., 2014)? It can be daunting for researchers to tackle global problems such as climate change, famine and biodiversity loss (Raworth, 2012; Steffen, Richardson et al., 2015), to name just a few of the large issues the world is and will continue to grapple with during the remainder of the 21st century. Still, also a field like Human-Computer Interaction should aim at being part of developing a sustainable society. But how do we do that, and, what are we aiming for?

In September 2015, the UN formally adopted a set of new global goals that were ushered in just as the previous Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) were slated to “expire”. The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)[2] consist of 17 overarching goals and 169 targets, aiming at accomplishing sustainable development for people and the planet by 2030. The 17 goals are almost all-encompassing and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon[3] rallied for action with the following words:

“We must engage all actors, as we did in shaping the Agenda. We must include parliaments and local governments, and work with cities and rural areas. We must rally businesses and entrepreneurs. We must involve civil society in defining and implementing policies – and give it the space to hold us to account. We must listen to scientists and academia. We will need to embrace a data revolution. Most important, we must set to work – now”

In this workshop we want engage everyone who is interested in working towards a sustainable future in terms of and with the UN SDGs as a starting point. How can Sustainable HCI be inspired by, and contribute to these goals? What should we in the field of HCI do more of, and what should we perhaps do less of? In what areas should we form partnerships in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals? And with whom should we form these partnerships? The benefit of arranging the workshop would be to have a common vision of how to work with the SDGs, to collaboratively explore how we could contribute to the goals and to be inspired – by each other – in our research.


You can apply by submitting a position paper or a presentation, which includes at least two of the following bullet points:

  • Shortly describe your UX work/HCI research interests and/or shortly describe your sustainability work.
  • Explain how your work/research relates to one or more of the SDGs
  • Describe how, in your opinion, the SDGs could/should relate to UX/the field of HCI in general

Please send your position paper (500-1500 words) or presentation (6-9 slides) by email to

Deadline 25 August 2016.

Submissions will be reviewed based on quality, originality, and their potential contribution to achieving workshop goals. We expect to include 15-25 participants.

The workshop fee will be an additional 1000SEK to the NordiCHI’16 conference fee (one day fee at minimum), see registration page for more information.

Important dates

Deadline for papers: August 25th, 2016
Notification of acceptance: September 3rd, 2016
Workshop: October 24th, 2016 (one full day)


Brynjarsdottir, H., Håkansson, M., Pierce, J., Baumer, E., DiSalvo, C., and Sengers, P. Sustainably unpersuaded: how persuasion narrows our vision of sustainability. In Proc. CHI 2012, ACM, (2012), 947-956.

Bødker, S. When second wave HCI meets third wave challenges. In Proc. NordiCHI’06, ACM, New York, NY, USA, (2006), 1-8.

Grudin, J. NordiCHI 2006: learning from a regional conference. interactions, 14, 3 (2007), 52-53.

Knowles, B., Blair, L., Walker, S., Coulton, P., Thomas, L., and Mullagh, L. Patterns of persuasion for sustainability, in Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Designing interactive systems. 2014, ACM. p. 1035-1044.

Pargman, D., Eriksson, E., Katzeff, C., Preist, C., Håkansson, M., and Knowles, B. Is there a European strand of sustainable HCI?, in Proceedings of the 8th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Fun, Fast, Foundational. 2014, ACM. p. 809-812.

Raworth, K. A safe and just space for humanity: can we live within the doughnut. Oxfam Policy and Practice: Climate Change and Resilience, 8, 1 (2012), 1-26.

Silberman, M., Nathan, L., Knowles, B., Bendor, R., Clear, A., Håkansson, M., Dillahunt, T., and Mankoff, J. Next steps for sustainable HCI. interactions, 21, 5 (2014), 66-69.

Steffen, W., Richardson, K., Rockström, J., Cornell, S.E., Fetzer, I., Bennett, E.M., Biggs, R., Carpenter, S.R., de Vries, W., and de Wit, C.A. Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347, 6223 (2015), 1259855.