DFP Project Stimulus Update

DFP Project Updates: Adapting to a Disrupted Climate, & iQoL
Online! Please join us via Zoom. Link will be made available soon.

DFP has awarded 11 Project Stimulus Grants over the past two years to several core faculty members. During this seminar, you will hear about two of the DFP Stimulus Projects. Stay tuned for future seminars featuring our other Project Stimulus Grant grant recipients! 

Note: This DFP@UBC seminar will be held online via Zoom.
Please email dfp-admin@dfp.ubc.ca for this event's Zoom meeting ID and password.

Talk 1:

Repair | Renew Workshops

Abstract: Adapting to shifting environments is part of the human condition. However, the rate and intensity of climate change over the past decade is threatening communities around the world. The complexity and breadth of the climate crisis, similar to the challenges of a global pandemic, requires an approach to design that recognizes that a single, technology-oriented solution to this problem is not possible. We need to adopt longer-term design orientations that support resilience, relationships, and capacity building in local communities to support their efforts to adapt to multi-faceted challenges.

Our research collective is investigating the design of locally developed and maintained information systems (broadly defined) that help neighborhoods prepare effectively for radically shifting, locally specific conditions. Through this talk we will report on a series of DFP funded, ideation workshops that we hosted in the fall of 2019. Workshop participants were from non-profits in the Metro Vancouver area, representing repair initiatives, emergency preparedness groups, and a climate dialogue collective. Individuals shared their experience and concerns, while considering ways to enhance resilience in neighborhoods, building capacity to create, steward, repair, and care for local information systems (e.g., mesh systems, public libraries, neighborhood book exchanges, and cultural centres). During this seminar we will share what we learned from workshop conversations, our initial reflections, and the next steps in our work.

Bios: Lisa Nathan is Associate Professor at University of British Columbia’s School of Information.  She teaches courses on Indigenous information initiatives, information ethics, and information policy.  Through a range of collaborations she strives to reimagine and redesign information practices to address long-term societal challenges (e.g., climate crisis, colonization). Her scholarship contributes to discussions in the fields of Design, Human Computer Interaction, Archival Studies and Information Studies. She co-edited the book, Digital Technology and Sustainability: Engaging the Paradox, with Mike Hazas. Lisa holds a PhD from University of Washington’s Information School.

Michelle Kaczmarek is a PhD candidate at the UBC School of Information. Her work investigates the ties and tensions between aspirations and information practices, exploring how people redesign their relationships with information tools and technologies to work towards better futures. Michelle’s doctoral research explores the roles of stories and storytelling in conceptualizing and reimagining complex information systems through a conceptual and empirical inquiry into the aspirations of citizens participating in community repair initiatives. She works on collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship as a part of the iStories Lab and the Information Practice Research & Design Collective. Her research is motivated and informed by inspiring people and projects, with whom she’s had the opportunity to work, including as a volunteer at MetroVan Repair Café, as website and database coordinator at Language Partners BC, and as a research assistant with the Heiltsuk Language and Culture Mobilization Partnership. She holds a Master of Library and Information Studies (First Nations Curriculum Concentration) from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts from Durham University.

Saguna Shankar is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia’s School of Information. Saguna is interested in learning alongside diverse groups as they navigate transitions in their information practices. In her dissertation research, she is questioning shifting visions of data, digital technologies, and migration to Canada as they influence how newcomers and their data are cared for. She is a member of the Information Practice Research & Design Collective, as well as initiatives focused on interdisciplinary and community-oriented engagement as part of the iStories Lab and through her role as a community liaison assistant with the UBC Migration research excellence cluster.

Talk 2:

Intellectual Quality of Life (iQoL)

Abstract: The contemporary academic environment in Canada has undergone reorganization based on neoliberal principles, and has increased attention to the importance of supporting interdisciplinary initiatives to address complex problems affecting global society. The purpose of our study was to examine the experience of people participating in a specific university-funded interdisciplinary research initiative. As there is a strong emphasis within this program to report on the outcomes of the funding that supports interdisciplinary collaboration, our aim was to explore how participation may shape one’s intellectual quality of life (iQoL) and how one’s iQoL could be conceptualized and understood. Using a pragmatic constructivist case study, focus group and individual interviews were undertaken with 30 participants involved with university-funded interdisciplinary research teams. Findings illustrate that their iQoL was shaped by their capacity to engage in and achieve what they viewed as their core work and its outcomes. Related sub-themes addressed the social and relational climate, institutional environment and structure, and expectations and resources. We argue that further development of iQoL as a unique construct is required to adequately measure the full range of people’s experiences in academia, particularly when aiming to address ‘wicked’ social and global problems within a predominantly neoliberal context.  This research will be used to develop a quantitative measure of iQoL.

Bios: Liisa Holsti completed her Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Medicine in 1985. She was trained in both Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT), but when a great OT job opened up at B.C. Children’s Hospital in the NICU and in the Neonatal Follow-up Program, she took it, working clinically for almost 20 years. During that time, she received her M.A. specializing in Measurement and Statistics. She then completed her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2004. She joined UBC in 2005 in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and is an Investigator at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute and BC Women’s Health Research Institute.

Suzanne Huot obtained her PhD in Occupational Science in 2011 as part of an interdisciplinary graduate program in the Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Western Ontario, where she previously completed her Masters in Geography. Her doctoral work examining the integration of French-speaking immigrants from visible minority groups was co-supervised by Dr. Debbie Laliberte Rudman and Dr. Belinda Dodson. During that time she worked as the Executive Director of the Canadian Society of Occupational Scientists, for which she was subsequently an elected executive board member for two consecutive terms. Suzanne was an Assistant Professor in the School of Occupational Therapy at the University of Western Ontario, where she continues to hold an adjunct appointment, prior to joining the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at UBC in July of 2017. Suzanne enjoys travelling and watching Netflix to unwind after a long day of family of fun with her son and husband.