Towards Intersectional Equity in Complex Sociotechnical Systems
Complex sociotechnical systems are embedded with the systemic inequities that plague society: for example, racism, classism, sexism, and so forth. Unless technology--and its norms of use and governance--are developed and implemented with the explicit goal of creating and sustaining intersectional equity in mind, the impacts of these systems will continue to be disproportionate; certain groups will systematically benefit from them while other groups are systematically harmed regardless of intent.
Utilizing a systems architecture framework grounded additionally in critical theory to design and reflect upon technology across scale—including technology as concept, artifact, complex product system, and complex sociotechnical system--may provide a lens through which intersectional equity can be designed for with specificity.
In this talk, Dr. Katlyn Turner of MIT's Media Lab discusses examples of equity and inequity in complex sociotechnical systems within broader society such as: (1) the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States (focusing on Greater Boston) and its disparate effects along lines of class, race and infrastructure, and (2) the exclusionary cultures and demographics uplifted and amplified in STEM and innovation (focusing on Greater Boston and the Detroit Metro).