Wellcomm2019 at CSCW2019 in Austin Nov 2019

wellcomm2019: Exploring how to design Tools and Methods to Empower Groups to Co-Create and Own Their Own Healthful Workplace Cultures

Significant DATES:

  • * Submissions: likely two weeks before early registration closes as soon as we know when that is
  • * Responses: One week before Early registraion closes
  • *Workshop – between Nov 9-13 – should know all these specific dates by first full week of August when the coordinators do.

Location -AUSTIN, Texas USA (it’s a cool place – the locals call it “weird”) http://cscw.acm.org/2019/

email submissions to wellcomm2019@nopain2.org

WORKSHOP QUESTION: How do we design kit that can help groups build healthier workplace cultures?
And by health we mean health holism: physical, social and mental wellbeing – including what the BMJ calls “the ability to adapt and self-manage” in particular ” in the face of social, physical, and emotional challenges”. That definition seems to open much scope for interactive tech to support such skills.
Our focus is also not primarily tech for the physical environment – though that may certainly be part of it – but how to design interactive tech to enable groups to explore, engage, shape their own work culture itself to align their cultural “normals” around holistic health

That is the driving mission of this workshop. But why this mission?

Concept: more about what we mean by “Health” here

Design tools for D-I-O (do it ourselves) Holistic Healthier Group Culture – photo, mc

We aspire to support Health Holism as Owned and Driven by A Group at Work.

Health Holism: This means rather than assert a mind/body separation of mental health/physical health, we talk about holistic health (or what our group calls wellth). We draw on current research in both physical and mental health for this showing: the brain is connected to the body – help people align work practices with healthful living practices, we get better mental and social health, and greater productivity, creativity, innovation.

Consider the research around (1) kids who are more physically active at school also perform better on exams (2) sleep and social engagement are tightly coupled (3) the state of the gut is increasingly connected to mental state. In other words the physical state is the foundation for just about everything, culturally valued.

Simple working hypothesis: if we focus on with caring about physical health support for groups at work, we should get productivity and creativity and all other desirable -ivities more effortlessly -almost as side effects.

MOTIVATION: Let’s Get Together, Together

Most health tech for daily health and wellbeing is focused on individuals. And yet, we are rarely alone. We are in fact social creatures, born into families, working and living in the vast majority in communities. This is fundamental for CSCW researchers is it not?

In terms of health practices, we know that, with even the best will in the world, trying to practice what we learn about health in our workplaces, if we are the lone person in our group with that practice, can be very challenging to sustain, whether its abstaining from coffee break cookies, or taking a walking break or leaving a group sufficiently early to get a good night’s sleep or to spend time with family.

It’s also understandable when group members do not feel they have the knowledge or power to create the fundamental cultural changes that would be necessary to support the kinds of healthier practices they are exploring and from which they may already have felt benefit.

workplace workshop low tech preliminary explorations of health practices that could be normalised in a work environment. — photo m.c.


So, how do we design interactive technology to enable diverse workplace groups, from personal assistants, to hotel housekeeping staff, to restaurant workers, to teachers and first responders, to gain the resources they need to bring together a group to explore, test, build, and create evidence of success to support processes that will both improve their wellbeing, and work within their groups?

And to be really clear: the goal here is to create assets that groups themselves can run without a Design Researcher needing to be present – can we create a Do it for Ourselves Healthful Culture Toolbox?

A working assumption is that the groups are best placed themselves to understand what can work best in their contexts (we can poke on that assumption too)

We Need YOU

We are particularly keen to engage with CSCW community members who have experiences with designing for / with groups in general, and groups at work; researchers who have engaged directly with what might be called “culture change” where they have driven that change (stories of the opposite direction can also work).

how do we come together as a group to design wellth kit for groups to create their own better normal? – scenes from the inbodied interaction workshop, chi2019

Related questions for your Consideration

OUR questions in this workshop are: what would be in the magic interactive techno Do-it-Ourselves tool box that would help groups at work, for example

  • explore what kinds of actions might support health at work?
  • how that practice might work in their own environment
  • develop agreement around evidence to support the change
  • produce that data as effortlessly as possible
  • create alternatives to “always on” data capture

TOPICS of interest (so far)

This list is non-exclusive, but mainly to say – we need expertise from a wide range of CSCW community’s understanding – not just from those of us wild about health and wellbeing – but from folks who have practice observing, working with, designing for teams.

What do you think? Come, help us think

Where and how can technology-as-resource for exploration be developed to support groups explore culture change towards health?

  • How explore Health for sustained benefit within a group (eg there are Group 12 week Fitness Challenges- but we see effects don’t necessarily endure – are their roles for tech here?)
  • what do we know works well for workplace health and wellbeing (beyond 12 week challenges for example that tend to slip away post challenge)?
  • Design of Interactive Assets for Work-cultures/groups – are their toolkits for the health/culture discovery process – vs tools/devices/assets for supporting cultural decisions (eg we’re exploring walking meetings – tools for that vs – we have walking meetings within our culture – what do we need to support these for all weather?)
  • Is this a kind of participatory design – but without the designer – where the group creates its own lead from a box of options? –
  • what are non-technical examples to draw on of tools for groups to lead themselves that should be a foundation?
  • Pervasive and potentially Passive assets (a wall clock is pretty passive and pervasive but useful)
  • Methodologies to inform asset design to enable groups to explore health topics together and explore options
  • PROBES for understanding group asset design
The Aeither – an Example of a Probe to explore how peripheral, pervasive display technologies may be used to help groups use new kinds of information – like CO2 levels – to form more explicit social norms around air quality management (for physical and cognitive benefit) in the workplace
more in Performance by Design -from dis2019

Contribution Types:

We’re really open about what constitues a contribution for this workshop. We’re suggesting:

  • 1-4 pages Case studies/ Think Pieces / Design Explorations/ Methodology Explorations/Related research surveys
  • Pictorals
  • Video illustrations 1-3mins
  • Other (reach out – if you’d like to propose something)

Workshop Structure and Outcomes

This one day workshop is formative towards outcomes of: (1) forming a community of interest and (2) forming an initial research agenda for the area towards (3) full papers, project proposals, etc through 2020 and beyond. More on this as we get closer to the date. We’ll be drawing on your contributions to help formulate specific topics/avenues for exploration – but our agenda is functional: towards Do It Ourselves Healthier Normal Construction – starting with workplace groups.

Key DATES one more time:

* Submissions: likely two weeks before early registration closes as soon as we know when that is
* Responses: One week before Early registraion closes

submissions /queries welcome to wellcomm2019@nopain2.org

“wellCome2019” – about the Name

The short name of the workshop -wellcomm- comes from “well” – “wellness/wellbeing” (& what our lab calls “wellth”) and “comm” for community, communication, commitment – all good things .

Some inspiration: Peter Block’s book Community (second edition)

Our Sponsors: We are grateful for the support of the Engineering and Physical Research Council in the UK via the GetAMoveOn Network and ReFresh Projects.

Please share this Invitation to wellcomm2019 with your colleagues