October 2023

Message from the Editors
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Dear SSIT Members,

Happy October! In this issue of the SSIT Newsletter, we have lots of exciting reports, reminders, and engagement opportunities. Read on for: a recap of the very successful ISTAS-2023 conference that took place last month in Swansea, Wales; links to several recordings and synopses of SSIT’s recent conference-based events; reports from both the SSIT Distinguished Lecturer happenings and ongoing Standards Committee work; a reminder about our ongoing fundraising drive (double your impact between now and 31 December!); and updates about conferences and publication opportunities.

As always, we invite submissions of content for inclusion in future newsletters. We welcome announcements for and reports on local chapter meetings, events, or outreach activities. In addition, we would love to hear about upcoming events, webinars, and conferences relevant to SSIT members.

Please send proposed content via email to [email protected]. The deadline for inclusion in the next newsletter is 6 November 2023.

Best wishes to you all.

Heather Love (IEEE SSIT Newsletter Editor in Chief)
Shannon Lodoen (IEEE SSIT Newsletter Associate Editor)
SSIT Announcements

All SSIT members are invited to submit brief reports and updates about upcoming and completed presentations and activities you are part of that are relevant to SSIT!

IEEE ISTAS 2024 Location & Dates Announced: Puebla, Mexico

As announced in a recent SSIT Blog Post, the location and date for ISTAS 2024, the flagship conference of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT), was unveiled in the closing minutes of ISTAS 2023. The 2024 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society will be held in Puebla, Mexico, from 18-20 September 2024, at the Universidad de Las Americas, Puebla (UDLAP).

This will be the first IEEE ISTAS conference to be held in Latin America. Jose Luis Vazquez Gonzalez of the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP) will serve as conference chair, and Ignacio Castillo is the ISTAS 2024 Program Chair.

SSIT President Luis Kun noted, “IEEE Region 9 includes as its territory of operations Latin America (South, Central and part of North America) and the Caribbean. Multiple IEEE societies will be invited to co-sponsor this meeting. We look forward to seeing you in Puebla, Mexico.”

Stay tuned for more information in future newsletters and on the SSIT website!

IEEE ISTAS 2023: Conference Recap

IEEE ISTAS 2023 took place in Swansea University, Wales from 13 - 15 September 2023. The conference brought together contributions from a variety of perspectives, disciplines, and communities for the advancement of knowledge related to Technology and Analytics for Global Development.

We are pleased to report that 105 delegates participated in this first in-person ISTAS conference since before the COVID-19 pandemic, including representation from across Europe (Wales, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden), the Middle East (Lebanon, Oman), Asia (Hong Kong, Japan), Africa (Kenya), and North America (Canada and the US).

Attendees were treated to an impressive roster of events; the wide scope of topics and rich range of perspectives allowed for in-depth and generative discussions, knowledge sharing, and community building around SSIT areas of interest. The Final Program included:

  • Two pre-conference events on 12 September (a networking event organized by the IEEE Humanitarian Technologies Board [HTB] and the Public Interest Technology (PIT) for Innovation in Global Development Workshop),
  • Four Keynote presentations (recordings of which are being prepared for circulation),
  • Three Plenary Panels (focused on Climate Change, Public Safety Technologies, and Diversity Inclusion and Ethics),
  • Three professional development workshops (sharing insight into IEEE Humanitarian Technology Board Best Practices, Indigenous Knowledge and Information Technology, and Innovation Strategy Development and Implementation)
  • 43 paper presentations, which are being prepared for publication via IEEE Xplore;
  • Valuable opportunities for socializing and networking, including at the conference Gala Dinner.

Recordings and synopses of several conference sessions are already available. If you were unable to make the trip to Wales, be sure to check out the following:

  • Synopses by Terri Bookman of two plenary panels focused on climate change issues, which were organized and chaired by IEEE SSIT President Luis Kun, and feature a range of IEEE Society Presidents:
    • Day 1 Panel: “IEEE Societies: Addressing Climate Change Challenges” (with Rakesh Kumar, IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society; Nita Patel, IEEE Computer Society; Metin Akay, IEEE EMBS; Manuel Delgado-Restituto and Victor Grimblatt (IEEE Circuits and Systems Society)
    • Day 2 Panel: “Public Safety Technologies and Climate Change” (with Kamal Al-Haddad, Director, IEEE Division 6; Johann Marquez-Barja, IEEE Education Society; Mariusz Malinowski, IEEE Industrial Electronics Society; Alan Chong, IEEE Professional Communication Society; Steven (Zhaojun) Li, IEEE Reliability Society; Wei-Jen Lee, IEEE Program Director Climate Technologies Sustainability; and Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan, 2023 IEEE HKN)
  • Recording of the HTB Keynote by Miriam Cunningham, titled “The Role of Engineering and Technological Innovation in Addressing Societal Challenges”
  • Recording of the HTB Best Practices Workshop, featuring Prof. Dr. Juan A. Gómez-Pulido (IEEE Spain Section SIGHT), Prof Nizar Rokbani (IEEE Tunisia Section SIGHT), and Eduardo Audiche (IEEE UK and Ireland Section SIGHT)

Many thanks and huge congratulations to the IEEE ISTAS 2023 organizing team, whose tireless efforts ensured ISTAS 2023’s success:

  • Denis Denehey (Conference Chair),
  • Yogesh K. Dwivedi and Samuel Fosso Wamba (Conference Co-Chairs),
  • Silvia Masiero, Ransome Bawack, and Miriam Cunningham (Technical Program Chairs)
  • Fabio Caraffini (Publications Chair)
  • Paul Jones and Howard Wolfman (Treasurers)
  • Fred Boy and Laurie Hughes (Publicity/Outreach & Social Chairs)
  • Siddhant Mohapatra and Christopher Patti (ISTAS23 Webmasters)

In addition, we acknowledge the generous support of the conference’s numerous sponsors. Technical co-sponsorship came from: IEEE Region 8, IEEE UK and Ireland Section, IEEE UK and Ireland SSIT Chapter and IEEE UK and Ireland Education Chapter. Financial support was provided by: Meet in Wales, IEEE Humanitarian Technologies, and Swansea University’s School of Management and Intensive Learning Academy.

Recording Available: IEEE TechEthics panel at ETHICS-2023

A recording is now available for the IEEE TechEthics-hosted panel that took place last May at ETHICS-2023. Titled “4 + 1: The Impacts of Academia, Economics, Government and Civil Society on Sustainable Development,” the session identifies ways in which interactions between the education system, the economic system, governments and the public contribute to the advancement of a sustainable global environment. Watch it here on IEEE TV.

SSIT Distinguished Lecturer Report: Dr. Haris Hamidović Speaks Out on The Risks of New Technologies

Following a horrific case of femicide in a small town in northeastern Bosnia in August 2023, where the perpetrator of the crime used social networks to directly broadcast the beating and murder of several people, Dr. Haris Hamidovic, SSIT DL, was invited by local Bosnian TV stations (Radio Free Europe and RTV TK) to talk about the risks of new technologies. Dr Hamidovic shared the basic message that we need to use technologies for good–but above all, we need to be good human beings.

A recording of the interview for RTV TK is available here.

SSIT Standards Committee Column: Q&A with Peter Reid

This is the second installment of a new column introducing SSIT members to our Standards Committee. We are pleased to feature Working Group Chair Peter Reid, who heads the team working on the P7011 Standard for the Process of Identifying and Rating the Trustworthiness of News Sources.

Peter Reid, IEEE SSIT Standards Committee Working Group Chair (P7011)

What is this standard?
P7011 is the Standard for the Process of Identifying and Rating the Trustworthiness of News Sources. Its goal is to provide a semi-autonomous process to create and maintain news source ratings for purposes of public awareness. The process will be used to produce trustworthiness rating through a multi-faceted and multi-sourced approach.

Why is it important?
The issue of news site trustworthiness is a big social issue everywhere these days, especially with more users getting news via the internet and even traditional news channels are moving to publish on the internet. News sources, who can be individuals or organizations, can use some or all of the following techniques to provide news/information in a form that restricts the ability of readers to come to an informed view of an issue:

  • Publish news article/s that contain claims that are known to be false or considered to be false by most experts in the field.
  • Deliberately mis-quote people to alarm readers.
  • Select and push news article/s to a reader that only presents one side of the discussion.
  • Conflate issues and draw conclusions that will alarm readers.
  • Use bots to distribute a large number of news articles with a particular bent to convince readers that the presented position has wide support.

What is a real-world example/case study of how this might help?
The proposed standard creates a system to which news sources can voluntarily register to submit their news articles for attribute analysis. The attributes that have been selected for analysis are:

  • Quotes and how they are handled.
  • Factual claims accuracy.
  • References and how they are handled.
  • Headline and news article correlation.
  • Identity and transparency.
  • News feed algorithm i.e., how news articles are selected for presentation to a reader.

The news articles submitted by a news source are collected till there is enough to perform an analysis. Each news item is scored against the attributes and a 5-level rating score for the news source is generated. The news source’s rating score is added to the news article as a watermark when it is distributed to the reader.

The proposed system will be able to help in two ways:

  1. People will be able to filter news sources against their registration with this voluntary standard. At a minimum bots should be excluded through the registration system and only news sources managed by people will be received.
  2. The 5-level rating score for news sources will provide an indication of the trustworthiness of the news sources. It is hoped that this indication will cause the reader to consider the trustworthiness of the news sources when deciding the veracity of the news article and whether to forward the news article to other recipients.

What stage is it at?
The standard is in the final drafting stage before going out to ballot by the wider standards community. It is expected that the standard will be submitted for ballot by April 2024.

What is the current geographical or disciplinary spread of your working members?
The current working group members come from Argentina, Australia, Jamaica, UK, and USA, and are involved in the following professions, business management, engineering, information technology, journalism, and law.

What type of people might be interested or well suited for this standards group?
Anyone who is interested in how news is presented and how this impacts society.

What triggered your own interest in this area?
Seeing the impact on society from the current methods of producing and distributing news.

Call to action
If you wish to help complete this work you can send an email to Working Group Chair, Peter Reid OAM, at [email protected] or IEEE Standards Association Program Manager, Christy Bahn, [email protected] to indicate your interest.

Reminder: SSIT’s Matching Funds Opportunity Runs Through 31 December!

Thanks to a generous offer from an anonymous donor, all donations made to SSIT through the IEEE Foundation between now and 31 December 2023, will be matched, up to a total of US$5000. Donate now to double your impact!

SSIT brings together interdisciplinary communities to support and inform our understanding of:

  • Sustainable Development & Humanitarian Technology
  • Ethics and Human Values
  • Technology Access
  • Societal Impact of Technological Innovation
  • Protecting the Planet
  • Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

We work within the technology community, but draw our ideas from practitioners, researchers, inventors, policy makers, professionals and students across many fields. We also influence the direction of technology adoption and development, from awareness and concepts, to standards and professional practice.

These programs are making a difference! Funds will be invested in further strengthening and expanding:

  • Standards development related to social impacts of AI, ethical design, human-robot interaction, and more
  • International Chapter, Young Professional and Student Activities
  • Conference and Distinguished Lecturer Programs addressing society’s most pressing issues
  • related to technology
  • Online Publishing and Education Programs

Ways to Contribute
Donate to SSIT online at https://ieeefoundation.org/ieee_ssit
You can make a gift to SSIT in honor or memory of someone who has touched your life

Note that donations to SSIT are managed by the IEEE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of IEEE. IEEE and the IEEE Foundation are U.S. 501(c)3 non-profit organizations. For more information contact: [email protected] or +1 732 465 5871.

IEEE Technology & Society Magazine (TSM)

Information About the Latest Issue
If you have not yet had a chance to browse through the September 2023 issue of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, “Artificial Intelligence Everywhere,” be sure to head over to IEEE Xplore today!

This issue features several editorials and commemorative pieces. These include SSIT President Luis Kun on “Society’s Dilemma in Our Day in Age: Technology and Academics Versus Social Development”; TSM Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Pitt on “ChatSh*t and Other Conversations (That We Should Be Having, But Mostly Are Not)”; and a memorial by Joe Herkert and Clint Andrews on “Ethical Engineering Advocate” Steve Unger, who passed in 2023.

In addition, the following commentaries are available open access:

This issue’s peer reviewed articles cover a range of topics:

  • The First Total War and the Sociotechnical Systems of Warfare (Jordan Richard Schoenherr)
  • Implications of Emotion Recognition Technologies: Balancing Privacy and Public Safety (Luis Felipe Ortiz-Clavijo et al.)
  • Navigating the Ethical Landscape of AI in Healthcare: Insights From a Content Analysis (Yin Wu and Xiang Michelle Liu)
  • Analysis of Fisherman Exploitation in Taiwan Distant Water Fishing (Periyasami Karthikeyan et al.)
  • Potential Impact of Data-Centric AI on Society (Sushant Kumar et al.)
  • Data for Societal Good: A Contextual Approach (Frederick Kaefer, Guillermina Mora, and Ravi Nath)
Happy reading, and congratulations to all September 2023 authors and the editorial/publication crew!

Information About the Journal
IEEE TSM is SSIT’s award-winning flagship publication. It features peer-reviewed and general interest articles that explore and analyze the profound impacts of technology on our world.

Find out more about the publication’s scope, topics, and article submission guidelines here, and visit the IEEE TSM section of the SSIT website to read about current and past issues.

IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society (TTS)

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Information About the Journal
The IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society publishes four issues each year (March, June, September, and December); submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

The editorial team seeks research papers on the interactions among technology, science, and society; on the impact of such interactions on individuals and society; and on the ethical, professional and social responsibility in the practice of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Find out more about the publication’s scope, topics, and article submission guidelines here, and be sure to visit the Transactions section of the SSIT website to read about current and past issues.

For expressions of interest to serve on the editorial board as an ongoing reviewer or associate editor, or for other inquiries please email the founding editor-in-chief at [email protected].

Special Issue CFP: “Indigenous Knowledge and Information Technology for Sustainable Development”

This CFP is for a Special Issue that will be developed in affiliation with the IEEE ISTAS 2023 Conference.

Guest Editors:

  • Ransom Bawack, Audencia Business School, France
  • Sian Roderick, School of Management, Swansea University, Wales, UK
  • Abdalla Badhrus, Muslim Education and Welfare Association (MEWA), Kenya
  • Denis Dennehy, Swansea University, Wales
  • Jacqueline Corbett, Faculty of Business Administration, Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada

This Special Issue of the journal Information Technology for Development aims to stimulate rigorous scientific research on the role of indigenous knowledge in IT for sustainable development. Heading into the critical second half of the SDG 2030 agenda, this Special Issue focuses on how to leverage and integrate indigenous knowledge to increase the contribution of IT solutions to the achievement of the SDGs. It aspires to demonstrate how strengthening the involvement of indigenous peoples, local communities, and their knowledge can influence the impacts of IT-based development strategies that meet the needs of poor and marginalized communities. Thus, we welcome papers that reveal the positive and/or negative aspects of associating indigenous knowledge and IT for sustainable development.

This Special Issue welcomes papers from all disciplines and encourages multidisciplinary that apply quantitative, qualitative, design science or mixed-methods research approaches.

Important Dates:

  • Deadline for submission: 15 January 2024
  • Notification of initial acceptance: 31 March 2024
  • Deadline for revised papers: 30 June 2024
  • Notification of final acceptance: 30 September 2024
  • Tentative publication date: December 2024

See the full Special Issue CFP for details regarding context, aims, and scope; topics of interest; and submission guidelines.

Evolution: IEEE Life Members Conference
14-16 April 2024
Hyatt Regency, Austin, TX

We are excited to announce the inaugural Life Members Conference, designed to strengthen the engagement of IEEE's 38,000 Life Members in shaping our collective future. Life Members represent all disciplines across the IEEE's fields of interest. We are also dedicated to giving back and sharing our expertise with the next generation.

The conference has three tracks:

1. Emerging Technologies – that impact seniors
  • Technologies of the Future and the Next Chapter
  • Aging Society and Technology Progress
  • Renewable Energy and Sustainability
2. Applications – technologies used by aging populations
  • Financial and Investment Strategies
  • Smart Systems, Infrastructure, Equipment and Living
3. Contributions – members sharing resources with future leaders
  • Mentors and Influencers in the Modern Society
  • Professional Development, Sharing and STEM Education

Our growing list of speakers include Rodney Brooks (iRobot), John McDonald (GE), Whurley (Strangeworks), Manuela Veloso (JP Morgan), Bernie Sander (AMD), Julie Shah (MIT) (and more!). Speaker commitments are ongoing and over the summer and fall, we’ll have a large list of exciting and engaging speakers, keynotes and topics to share.

Join other Life Members, Senior Members, influencers, innovators, technical professionals, and members of the STEM community in Austin for this inaugural event. Registration will be limited, so be sure to secure your spot early. Stay tuned for further details about the conference and our social media channels.
IST-Africa 2024 Call for Papers: Deadline 30 November
May 2024
Supported by the European Commission (EC) and African Union Commission (AUC), IST-Africa 2024 (May) is the nineteenth in an annual series of Ministerial Level Technology Policy, Research and Innovation Conferences. IST-Africa 2024 is technical co-sponsored by IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT).

The IST-Africa Conference Series provides a world-class strategic platform rotating around Africa to strengthen technology-enabled Innovation, Science and Technology and Entrepreneurship related policy dialogues within Africa and between Africa, Europe and the rest of the world, Global Development, Research and Innovation Cooperation and Community Building. It also provides an opportunity to identify potential partners for future research cooperation under Horizon Europe and other international funding programs. IST-Africa is a unique community that brings together cross-disciplinary stakeholders from public, private, education and research, societal, funding and international donor sectors with end user communities focused on ICT and STI Research and Innovation and Technology-enabled Entrepreneurship.

The IST-Africa 2024 Call for Papers invites full papers (4000 - 5000 words in length) using the paper guidelines and IST-Africa template for blind peer review by 30 November.

Key information for authors:
Additional guidelines:
Thematic areas addressing achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include:
  • Technology-enabled Healthcare (mHealth /eHealth)
  • Technology-enhanced Learning and eSkills
  • Technology-enabled Agriculture (mAgriculture /eAgriculture) & Environmental Sustainability
  • Energy - ICT for Power Delivery, Micro-grids
  • eInfrastructures and NRENs (National Research and Education Networks)
  • Next Generation Computing: Big Data, Cloud Computing, Future Internet, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT)
  • eGovernment and Public Service Delivery
  • Content Technologies: Languages; Digital Preservation
  • Cyber Security, Privacy and Trust
  • Collaborative Open Innovation and Technology-enabled Entrepreneurship (including Social Entrepreneurship)
  • Global Development (including ICT4D)
  • Societal and Ethical Implications of Technology
Full papers must present analysis of policy, initial or final research results or a case study. It is important to highlight actual or expected impact as well as the level of innovation. General project descriptions or descriptions of proposed research will not be reviewed.

It is necessary for the paper submitted to include a unique element that has not previously been published and any previous published materials to be clearly referenced (including material previously published by the authors).

Each presenter can present ONE paper in the Programme. It is necessary for papers to be presented by an author / co-author and answer questions based on the presentation during the event to ensure inclusion in the Proceedings.

Please only submit papers for review where there are authors/co-authors who will complete registration. Please do not submit multiple papers for which there is only one author who can register. Please note only full papers are assigned for review.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

IST-Africa 2023 Proceedings
The IST-Africa 2023 Proceedings and previous proceedings can be accessed on an Open Access basis via http://www.ist-africa.org/Conference2024/default.asp?page=paper-repository.

IST-Africa Community Members can access and download individual papers of interest for personal use on an open access basis via the IST-Africa Open Access Repository.

If a colleague is not already a member of the IST-Africa community, they can register at no charge via http://www.ist-africa.org/Conference2024/default.asp?page=register-mailing-list.

Ongoing Calls
Call for Expressions of Interest to Host SSIT Conferences
IEEE SSIT organizes, co-organizes, and sponsors conferences focused on technology, society and ethics. IEEE SSIT is seeking expressions of interest from SSIT members interested in hosting the following conferences around the world.

IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS)
IEEE ISTAS is the annual flagship event of the IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology (SSIT). It is organized each year by SSIT in cooperation with SSIT Chapters and IEEE Sections. IEEE ISTAS brings together a broad range of disciplines (e.g., natural and social sciences, policy, ethics and education) to share research and experiences about the implications of technology adoption, adaptation and evolution.

SSIT is looking toward future ISTAS two to four years from now to allow planning and continuity between annual events. We are issuing a call for proposals for volunteers as organizers of ISTAS in 2025 and beyond.

IEEE Conference on Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century (21CW)
The 21CW conference series addresses the technical, social and personal legacy of the founder of cybernetics, control theory, and information ethics, Norbert Wiener. It has been held in Boston (2014), Melbourne (2016), and as a virtual event hosted from Chennai, India (2021), with satellite activities in India 2014, 2016, 2018.

Expressions of interest are welcome for 2025.

If you are interested in hosting one of these events, please contact SSIT Conferences Chair, Jay Pearlman at [email protected] to request SSIT’s Call for Proposals Guide, which provides:
  • Guidance for conference organization and operations
  • An overview of expectations for proposal content
  • Background on ISTAS conference (including a list of recent events)
  • A proposal template
Call for New Content: SSIT Website and IEEE.tv Channel
Thank you to the SSIT Members and Chapters who have responded to date to the invitation to contribute content for publication on the SSIT website. We look forward to receiving regular contributions. Please send articles, event notifications and other relevant content including pictures to Miriam Cunningham, SSIT Web Committee Chair.

SSIT Chapters, Distinguished Lecturers and SSIT supported Events are invited to provide Miriam Cunningham with recordings of Guest Lectures and other relevant content linked with SSIT’s Technical areas and field of interest for publication in the SSIT Society Channel on IEEE.tv. Please send a link by email to download the .mp4 file, include SSIT branding in the recording, and ensure that you have written permission from the speaker to publish it.

Call for Nominations: IEEE SSIT Awards
IEEE SSIT has three major awards, all of which are open for nomination at this time.

The Carl Barus Award for Outstanding Service in the Public Interest is open to anyone, or group, who performs an important public service, possibly at the risk of career or reputation. This includes anyone, whether or not in the engineering profession, or a member of IEEE. Further information on recipients can be found at https://technologyandsociety.org/member-resources/awards-programs/barus-award-recipients/.

The Brian M. O’Connell SSIT Distinguished Service Award is for SSIT volunteers who have demonstrated outstanding service for the benefit of SSIT. More information on this award can be found at

The SSIT Norbert Wiener Award for Social and Professional Responsibility is given to an individual or team for exceptional contribution, or outstanding career contribution in the field of the social implications of technology. Further information can be found at

To nominate an individual, submit information to Bob Dent ([email protected]). Include the individual’s contact information – name, address, phone, email, professional history (year, organization and position), and the proposed citation in 25 words or less. The nominator must also submit their own contact information.
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