Fall 2022 Mini-Course: Technology, Humanity, and Social Justice

Technology, Humanity, and Social Justice
Friday, November 4, 2022 to Sunday, November 6, 2022
As humans rely more and more on electronic devices to support their everyday activities, there are ever present warnings about the impacts such reliance has on human autonomy ranging from who owns and controls information networks, the inequitable impact of technology consumption on peoples and places, varying accessibility of technology around the globe, and the promises and limitations of technology in improving human health. By engaging in technology as a lens, this sequence of weekend micro-courses encourages students to examine technology as a system disproportionately impacting humanity by enabling and constraining human rights of groups of people around the globe. With a multi-disciplinary focus, the course invites researchers and practitioners from the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, and relevant fields more broadly. 
 
In this four-part weekend micro-course (spanning four semesters), we will examine the power of technology on humanity and its implications on social justice in four areas: governance, environment, education, and health. 
 
In Fall 2022, the focus will be on humanity’s use of technology and the disparate impacts on and benefits to the environment and varying groups of people. This will include discussion around the material, environmental, and health costs of extracting materials necessary to technological development and production as well as the waste created by the consumption habits initiated by global reliance on technology. It will also include a discussion of technology’s role in advancing sustainability. 
 
Please register here or at the tab above.
 
 

Pre-recording, Asynchronous Review Before Class: Engaging Perspectives in Decision-Making Proposal Assignment Overview

Pre-Reads: Prior to class, students should review the entire syllabus and its policies, the engaging perspectives in decision-making proposal (final assignment) assignment and rubric.
Pre-Class Brainstorm: Prior to class, students should review the list of topics and resources provided on Canvas. Students should select one topic and review the provided resources. If students would like to work on a topic that does not appear on the provided list of options, then students can reach out via email or Zoom office hours for approval.
Pre-Recording Quiz: This quiz will be due before midnight on Friday, Nov. 4th. You should complete the Canvas quiz after reviewing the syllabus, final assignment and rubric, and watching the pre-recording overview of the course and final assignment.
 

Friday, November 4th

  • 5:00PM to 5:15 PM: Welcome Remarks and Overview of Course
  • Session 1 – 5:15 PM to 6:30 PM: David Sanchez, Associate Director, Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, University of Pittsburgh 
  • Session 2 – 6:45 PM to 8:00 PM: Michael Aklin, Political Science, University of Pittsburgh 
 

Saturday, November 5th

  • Session 3 – 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM: Group Activity: Analyzing Governance and Technology Case Study 
Note: Students arriving more than 5 minutes late will not be assigned to a breakout group nor be able to complete the assignment sheet associated with this activity. Please arrive on time to be assigned a group and case study. This activity will also ask students to actively talk with one another to complete the activity. Be sure you are in a space that you can at least unmute and add to the conversation. 
  • Session 4 – 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM: Speaker 3
  • LUNCH – 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
  • Session 5 – 1:00 PM to 2:15 PM: Fas Lebbie, Transition Design, School of Design, CMU 
  • Session 6 – 2:30 PM to 3:45 PM: Speaker 5 
  • Session 7 – 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM: Group Activity: Comparing Analyses Environment and Technology Case Studies
Note: Students arriving more than 5 minutes late will not be assigned to a breakout group nor be able to complete the assignment sheet associated with this activity. Please arrive on time to be assigned a group and case study. This activity will also ask students to actively talk with one another to complete the activity. Be sure you are in a space that you can at least unmute and add to the conversation.
 

Sunday, November 6th

  • Session 8 – 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM: Comparing Disciplines and Perspectives
  • Session 9 – 9:45 AM to 11:45 AM: Practicing Community Discussions on Inclusive Approaches: A Case Study Activity 
Note: Students arriving more than 5 minutes late will not be assigned to a breakout group nor be able to complete the assignment sheet associated with this activity. Please arrive on time to be assigned a group and case study. This activity will also ask students to actively talk with one another to complete the activity. Be sure you are in a space that you can at least unmute and add to the conversation.
  • Session 10 – 12:00 PM to 1:00PM: Workshopping Your Stakeholder Profiles 
Pre-Class Work: Prior to the Sunday morning session, students should have selected a topic from the provided list and reviewed the available resources. Using your prior resources and brainstorms from the Part 3 portion of the Speaker Session worksheets, students will begin workshopping key stakeholders related to their topic. This will allow for feedback and provide a foundation of the next step of the Identifying Stakeholder Perspective assignment after the weekend. 
 

David Sanchez 

Associate Director, University of Pittsburgh Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation


Michaël Aklin

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Admissions and Career Planning, University of Pittsburgh Department of Political Science


Fas Lebbie

PdD Candidate and Graduate Teaching Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University School of Design


Cassie Quigley

Department Chair and Associate Professor of Science Education, University of Pittsburgh School of Education Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading 


Stephen Quigley

Teaching Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences Composition Program


Iris Grossman

Assistant Professor of Sustainable Technology, Chatham University Falk School of Sustainability & Environment 

The mini-course is open to all. Please register here no later than November 1st.

For questions, please contact Veronica Dristas at dristas@pitt.edu