20. Shaping Sustainable Socio-Technical Work Futures: Cultures, Practices and Imaginaries of Digital Professionals

Martin Berg, Malmö University; Sarah Pink, Monash University; Maria Engberg, Malmö University;

Digital transformation is often said to fundamentally alter how we work, creating new possibilities for efficiency and flexibility. However, much of the research on this topic has failed to capture the perspectives of those at the forefront of this transformation, namely the digital professionals involved in creating, utilising and educating about digital, automated and robotic work tools and services. These influential actors forge expectations in the labour market of how such technologies (and future technologies that they enable us to imagine) will alter our lives and work. Exploring the cultures, practices and imaginaries in and around these professionals helps us navigate the shifting terrains of work and provides routes toward sustainable socio-technical work futures. This panel explores and contests how professionals working in the tech industries - ranging from software engineers to CEOs, project managers and creatives experience and anticipate digital transformations and how they engage with different stakeholders in work futures. The panel explores the social dynamics of when digital work technologies are anticipated, adopted and adapted to and how such practices relate to other dominant future-oriented narratives and discourses about the future of work. We welcome empirical, theoretical and conceptual papers - not the least from practitioners themselves to allow for a multilayered discussion. We are particularly interested in papers focusing on the 'quiet', and mundane ways technologies become part of quotidian routines in these professionals' lives and at work-dimensions that have slipped under the radar of scholarly attention addressing work futures.

Contact: martin.berg@mau.se, sarah.pink@monash.edu, maria.engberg@mau.se

Keywords: Disciplines and the Social Organization of Science and Technology, Forms and Practices of Expertise, Information, Computing and Media Technology, Digital transformation, Future of work, Digital professionals, Tech industries, Sustainability

Published: 04/07/2023