Catherine D'Ignazio,

Assistant Professor of Urban Science & Planning, MIT

Data Feminism & Feminicide

Data Feminism (co-authored with Lauren Klein, MIT Press, 2020) is a set of seven principles that demonstrate how feminist thinking can be operationalized in order to imagine more ethical and equitable data practices. This talk will briefly introduce those principles and relate them to a collaborative project undertaken by the Data + Feminism Lab, Feminicidio Uruguay and the Iniciativa Latinoamericana por los Datos Abiertos. We are exploring how to build technologies to support counterdata collection by activists and civil society organizations who are working to fight gender-related violence against women and its lethal outcome, feminicide, in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

Dr. Nassim Parvin

Associate Professor of Digital Media, Georgia Tech

On the Uses and Misuses of Unintended Consequences

One of the hallmarks of feminist theory and praxis is to identify and challenge dominant modes and tools of knowledge making that perpetuate oppressive power relations. In this talk, I discuss the uses and misuses of “unintended consequences,”—a seemingly mundane phrase that is popular in science and technology discourses—demonstrating its power in advancing techno-utopic interventions and visions. For more see, Parvin, Nassim, and Anne Pollock. "Unintended by Design: On the Political Uses of 'Unintended Consequences,'" Engaging Science, Technology, and Society 6 (2020): 320-327.

Dr. Shaowen Bardzell

Professor, Pennsylvania State University

The Tempest in the Menstrual Cup: How Design, Critique, and Activism Changed Taiwan

Can design contribute not just towards an incrementally better world, but to a radically better one? In recent years, feminist utopian thinkers have sought to imagine radically better social worlds and accompanying ways of life using a double-move: the first is a “diagnostic critique” of the present that seeks to denaturalize it, which creates openings for the second move “anticipatory design,” which imaginatively construes one or more aspects of the social world in a preferred and plausible way—much like what we in design call “design futuring.”

In this talk, I will explore how anticipatory design and critique contributed to real world product design, in this case, a menstrual cup in Taiwan. The cup proposes and enacts concrete strategies that challenge and overcome unquestioned misogynistic cultural tendencies about the care and maintenance of the hymen in Chinese culture. In doing so, it also proposes an aspirational future for the women in the country, which in fact led to activism that helped bring that future into being. I argue that contemporary feminist utopianism represents a living critical/design practice: its double-move teases out glimpses of preferred and possible futures, which can guide and motivate democratic forms of activism in the present.

Pragya Saboo and Navya Nanda

Cofounders of Aara Health

Bridging the Gap in Access to Quality Healthcare for Women in India

Women's health and wellbeing needs remain seriously under-addressed in India, as in countries around the world. Aara Health allows women to connect with high quality doctors for virtual consultations, access expert-verified educational content, and join a safe and secure community for social support.