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Technology and the future of care work

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Join Autonomy for a webinar exploring new directions for research into the future of care work and technology, chaired by Prof Helen Hester

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Have you considered the ways technologies of care could be harmful and beneficial to care work and its workers? This event is a 1.5-hour webinar on future directions for research into technologies of care. The webinar seeks to discuss topics such as the way in which technologies of care are developing, the risks and opportunities they present for workers, their link to the quality of care, and which areas should be prioritised for academic research. The five speakers will present their current research and outline their stance on technologies and care work, before they engage in a roundtable discussion and a Q&A session with the audience. A Zoom link will be email to attendees on the day of the session.

The speakers for this webinar are:

Emma Dowling, a sociologist and political economist at the University of Vienna. Her research interests include feminist political economy, work and emotions and social change. She is the author of The Care Crisis: What Caused It and How Can We End It? (Verso, 2021).

Dennis Olsen is a Senior Lecturer for Advertising and Branding at the University of West London. His interdisciplinary work is framed by sociological, cultural, and psychological perspectives. His research interests revolve around ageing societies—particularly the study of stereotypes in the media, and shifting consumer behaviours. Dennis has presented his work at numerous national and international conferences, and in his recent paper on ‘Emotions and Loneliness in a Networked Society’ (2019, Palgrave), he explores loneliness in older age as an activation strategy in narratives of contemporary advertising.

Julian Siravo heads Autonomy_Urban, with a focus on ageing populations and the future of care, logistics and workspace. An Architect and Urbanist from Rome, he has spent time both in commercial and research-based architectural practices. In his work Julian has explored automated construction, ideas of post-familial domesticity and socialized care-work.

Stephanie Sherman is a London-based director, producer, writer, and strategist working across design, urbanism, technology, and culture. She teaches City Design at the Royal College of Art with Julian Siravo, produces online radio broadcasts with Radioee.net, and collaborates with the think tank Autonomy UK, The UC San Diego Design Lab, and The UC Center for Design and Geopolitics. Stephanie is finalizing a PhD in Design at University of California San Diego. She holds an MA in Philosophy from Duke University and a BA in Literature from UPenn.

Mavis Machirori, a senior researcher at the Ada Lovelace Institute, focusing on projects at the intersection of data-driven systems and digital technologies and their wider health and social impacts. Mavis obtained her PhD in Health Studies from King’s College London and is a midwife by background. This helps her combine broad clinical, theoretical and practical knowledge and insights of ethical and societal implications of practices, governance and uses of health and genomics data in care and research. Mavis is interested in issues of inequalities and power dynamics that impact people’s experiences of health and care, and considers ways to ensure marginalised voices are heard.

This event will be chaired by Helen Hester, Professor of Gender, Technology, and Work at the University of West London. Her research interests include technofeminism, social reproduction, and post-work politics, and she is a member of the international feminist working group Laboria Cuboniks. Her books include Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex (SUNY Press, 2014), Xenofeminism (Polity, 2018), and After Work: The Politics of Free Time (Verso, 2021 with Nick Srnicek). She also leads the Feminist Futures Programme at the think tank Autonomy.

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