About CIRN

CIRN PRATo Conference

Since the founding colloquium in 2003, the CIRN (Community Informatics Researchers Network) conferences have been marked by informality, collegiality and interdisciplinary thinking, bringing together people from many different countries in an ideal Italian setting.

Themes have ranged across issues such as privilege, gender & sexual identities, forms of knowledge, documentation, participation & community-based research, power, ideals & reality, measurement, and the applied arts. While we have a particular theme each year we also seek papers (that include referred, work-in-progress, and non-refereed), presentations, posters, and graduate student work related to any aspect of Community Informatics, Community Archiving, Development Informatics, Art, Archives Memories, and ICTs field.

We are particularly interested in papers from researchers and practitioners that can address the challenges of locating community-focussed research within wider theoretical and practice frameworks. We also have a research student (masters and doctorate) presence and encourage the submission of current or planned work in colloquium sessions. This is a great opportunity for interaction with other students in an international setting. More generally, CIRN conference is a highly social event in a small and culturally-rich part of Italy.


Community Informatics is primarily concerned with improving the well-being of people and their communities through more effective use of ICTs. Community Informatics foregrounds social change and transformative action in emergent social-technical relationships rather than prediction and control and likewise, Development Informatics or ICT4D is concerned with ICTs in the international development context. This orientation also has much in common with Community Archiving.

Community-centric archival research, education and practice are concerned with empowering communities in support of such desirable objectives as democracy, human and civil rights, self-determination, sustainable development, and social inclusion. Recordkeeping and archiving are fundamental infrastructural components supporting community information, self-knowledge and memory needs, thus contributing to resilient communities and cultures and supporting reconciliation and recovery in the aftermath of conflict, oppression.

Development Informatics (also called ICT4D) is involved with the use of ICTs in international development settings. The purpose of International Development is heavily contested, and thus, the use and interpretations of ICTs in that space is also subject to a wide variety of interpretations. More recently, those in the Art, and Archives Memories and ICTs have been participating with us in an exploration of how the media, dance and other forms of arts interested in ICTs intersect with community development, community memory and archives.

2019 Conference committee

  • Sue McKemmish (bio), Monash University (Conference Chair)
  • Larry Stillman (bio), Monash University (Conference Co-organiser)
  • Vanessa Rhinesmith (bio), Harvard Kennedy School (Conference Co-organiser)
  • Tom Denison (bio), Monash University
  • Vince Dzekian (bio), Monash University
  • Joanne Evans (bio), Monash University
  • Anne Gilliland (bio), University of California, Los Angeles
  • Kiera Ladner (bio), University of Manitoba
  • David Nemer (bio), University of Virginia
  • Safiya Noble (bio), University of California, Los Angeles
  • Gillian Oliver (bio), Monash University
  • Colin Rhinesmith (bio), Simmons University
  • Mauro Sarrica (bio), Sapienza University, Rome
  • Martin Wolske (bio), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign