Special Session: Cloud Computing, HCI, & Design: Sustainability and Social Impacts (Dec 2010, Indiana)

CloudCom 2010: in conjunction with the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science (CloudCom 2010) Nov 30 – Dec 3, 2010, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Please see the Special Session site:  http://eli.informatics.indiana.edu/cc-hci/
or the main conference site: http://2010.cloudcom.org/.


Cloud computing is a important trend—however historically precedented—which has implications for the way in which people interact with digital technologies. Some of the notions now associated with cloud computing relate to efficiencies and energy use, to marketing, and to revenue and enterprise models—these notions are manifest as terms and phrases like virtualization, software as a service (SaaS), hardware as a service (HaaS), and others. For many, cloud computing presents enterprise opportunity. For others, cloud computing may hold potentially dark implications from a sustainability perspective. For example, the organization Greenpeace writes:

“The cloud is growing at a time when climate change and reducing emissions from energy use is of paramount concern. With the growth of the cloud, however, comes an increasing demand for energy. For all of this content to be delivered to us in real time, virtual mountains of video, pictures and other data must be stored somewhere and be available for almost instantaneous access. That ‘somewhere’ is data centres – massive storage facilities that consume incredible amounts of energy.” [1]:3

We need to sort out what the sustainability and social implications of cloud computing actually are from an humanity-centered point of view. Do the promised efficiencies of cloud computing have implications for more sustainable practices or will these efficiencies create greater resource and energy use and less sustainable behaviors corresponding to the possibility that greater capabilities induce greater use?

We invite you to contribute short (4-6 page)  informed essays and/or original research reporting that address these issues from an HCI, Design, and sustainability perspective. We hope to attract contributions from a broad transdisciplinary community—all are welcome. The topics to address include but are not limited to:

  • What are the factors that affect energy use as consumers and enterprise shift to cloud computing?
  • Does cloud computing induce sustainable or unsustainable behaviors?
  • What is the role of HCI and interaction design in promoting sustainable practices in a cloud based computing world?
  • How does cloud computing relate to similar notions in HCI and pervasive computing, such as to Weiser’s notions of dynamic ownership of computing devices? [2]
  • Does cloud computing hold the possibility of inducing less disposability and increased durability of personal digital devices, or is the opposite more likely?
  • What are the trade-offs in potential energy use between the widespread advent of cloud computing, compared to the continued use of widely distributed personal computing resources, and is there a middle ground between these possibilities?
  • Who can affect the kind of energy sources that are used to implement cloud computing apropos of sustainable energy choices? [1]:5
  • Can cloud efficiencies and interactivity reduce energy use? [1]:5

Archival Nature of Papers

All submitted papers will receive at least two reviews. Papers that are accepted for presentation at the special session will be published in the Cloudcom 2010 Conference IEEE proceedings, and will be available in IEEExplore (EI indexing). As such, accepted papers constitute archival, peer-reviewed work. All authors of papers accepted at the special session may revise and lengthen their papers for additional archival venues, according to the rules of IEEE and the ACM. The organizers will suggest at least one suitable venue and more likely more than one, as we hope to attract broad transdisciplinary participation. Note that the archival nature of papers accepted for this special session is different than the non-archival nature of papers accepted to SIGCHI conference workshops. The organizers and conference chair will supply a letter to this effect for those who may need same for their individual organizational reporting.


The submission format must conform to the following: 4 pages minimum and 6 pages maximum including figures, tables and references using IEEE proceedings format (download instructions: http://www.sce.carleton.ca/faculty/yee/ieeepaperinstruct.pdf ). Authors should submit the manuscript in PDF format and make sure that the file will print on a printer that uses letter size (8.5 x 11) paper. The official language of the meeting is English. Please submit your paper to the SIVELB 2010 (https://www.easychair.org/account/signin.cgi?conf=sivelb2010 ) via an EasyChair account.

Important Dates

Submission deadline: 15 July 2010
Author notification: 15 August 2010
Camera-ready: 1 September 2010
Special Session: 30 November 2010


Eli Blevis, Human-Computer Interaction Design, Indiana University at Bloomington, USA eblevis@indiana.edu

Jinjun Chen, Centre for Complex Software Systems and Services, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia jinjun.chen@gmail.com


1. Greenpeace (2010, March). Make IT Green: Cloud Computing and its Contribution to Climate Change. The Netherlands: Greenpeace International.
2. Weiser, M. (1999). The computer for the 21st century. SIGMOBILE Mob. Comput. Commun. Rev. 3, 3 (Jul. 1999), 3-11.


About Fil Salustri
I'm a design methodologist and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Adjectives that describe me include: secular humanist, meritocrat, and long-winded. Some people call me a positivist too, as if that were a bad thing. Go figure. My real home page is http://deseng.ryerson.ca/~fil.

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