CHI 2007
The CHI 2007 organisers have published an “advanced programme” of the conference, which will take place 28 April – 3 May in San Jose, California.

Some highlights:

Opening plenary: “Reaching for the intuitive” by Bill MoggridgeBill will attempt to show how design thinking can harnesses intuitive mental processes, leveraging tacit knowledge as well as the explicit knowledge of logically expressed thoughts. He will give examples of how designers and design teams learn by doing, allowing the subconscious mind to inform intuitions that guide actions. Some of the examples will come from his experience as Cofounder of IDEO, and others will be taken from his recent book Designing Interactions (www.designinginteractions.com), in which he interviews forty influential designers who have shaped our interaction with digital technology.

Interactive session: “Who killed design?: addressing design through an interdisciplinary investigation” with Bill Moggridge (IDEO), Bill Buxton (Microsoft Research), Terry Winograd (Stanford University) and Meg Armstrong (Parsons The New School for Design)This interactive session brings together significant voices from a variety of ‘design-engaged’ disciplines to lead a discussion about the oft-used, but seldom agreed upon notion of ‘Design’. The primary goal of this session is to address ‘Design’ from a much wider variety of perspectives than could occur within any singular discipline. In doing so, the session intends to re-visit [the definitions of] “Design”, “Designer”, and “Designed”.

Closing Plenary: “The mobile as a post-industrial platform for socio-economic development” by Niti BhanThe internet is the foundation of the world wide web of humanity online. Today, there is no such facility on the cellphone platform comparable as yet to the great degree of usability and freedom of movement that browsing currently offers those of us in “broadband nations”.

At the same time there is a great digital divide – between the haves and the have nots. Many have tried with different degrees of success to bridge this chasm, because they all see the potential for growth that unleashing the flow of wealth to and from the bottom-most segments of socioeconomic and geopolitical strata, can effect real change in the standard of living for a great majority on our planet rather than just the fortunate few.The numbers of cellphones sold in the past two years alone in the unexpected markets of the bottom of the pyramid, that includes a surprising numbers of luxury or high end mobiles, far more than any market survey could have predicted even two years ago, is a clear signal of the shift in economic activity. Look at what is already happening now in Bangladesh – microfinance and cellphones; South Africa – banking the unbanked through their cellphones; Uganda – microentreprise using the cellphone and more.The challenge before us today is to ask “What if…?” in the best traditions of creativity and imagination and visualise a near future, within the constraints of existing or installed technology, that could bridge this digital divide and develop the applications and the foundation to provide connectivity, commerce and community on the mobile platform. What kind of difference could this make?”