About the Innovation in Information Infrastructures Workshop
Today’s ICT solutions are becoming increasingly complex, inter-dependent and large-scale. ICTs are no longer developed and managed as stand-alone and monolithic systems, but are built and implemented as parts of something larger. Today’s challenges are not about decomposing complicated requirements and deriving optimal technical designs, but grappling with the technological and organisational complexity that emerges from the heterogeneity of systems, actors involved, and the lack of control over other systems and components. These changes and the associated technological, social and organizational challenges continue to urge the need to deepen our understanding, and thus study, conceptualize and further theorise ICTs as Information Infrastructures (II) rather than as small-scale and stand-alone Information Systems.
Building on the previous innovation in information infrastructures workshops (in 2006/2012 in USA and Edinburg), this workshop will focus on the broad range of information infrastructures in our society. The previous workshops thematically focused on visions of the future, knowledge infrastructures and how information infrastructures and related social, organizational and market forms innovate. Continuing these debates, this third workshop will particularly focus on theorising information infrastructures and ask how the complexity of information infrastructures challenges research methodologies. The project of theorising information infrastructures has over the last two decades helped to promote a shift in focus from standalone systems to large scale, complex information infrastructures. But we still need to mature our concepts and theories on e.g.: 1) processes of information infrastructure development and innovation; 2) evolutionary architectures and architecting, and 3) governance and control. We have also only seen the start of the maturing of methodological approaches taking into account the scale, scope and evolution of information infrastructures (such as Biography of Artefacts).
At the University of Oslo, the focus of information infrastructure studies and conceptualisations has primarily been the health domain. But solid information infrastructure concepts and sound methodological approaches must take into account the much broader nature of the information infrastructure phenomena. Thus, we call for contributions based on empirical research in any setting, such as for example social media, aviation and transportation, banking, cloud computing and the internet of things. And we encourage new forms of information infrastructures emerging, such as ecosystems, digital platforms and architectures (e.g. SOA).