Kelly Widdicks

Postdoctoral Researcher in Diversity and Inclusion in Computing Education
School of Computing and Communications | Lancaster University
Kelly Widdicks is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the School of Computing and Communications at Lancaster University, focusing on the sustainable and responsible innovation of digital technology. Building on her Computer Science background, she is experienced in utilising quantitative and qualitative data studies within the multidisciplinary field of Human-Computer Interaction to uncover the socio-technical impacts of digital technology. Her work to date has focused on uncovering the environmental impacts of such technologies, as well as the ethical implications for digital wellbeing tools and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in Computer Science education. She is most known for her research on video streaming and the sustainable design of online services, published at high-quality venues and gaining international and national media attention leading to interviews for BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Scotland.
Digital technology has an environmental impact due to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its life-cycle (production, use, disposal). One driver for the emissions associated with the internet has been coined the ‘Cornucopian Paradigm’, where the data-intensive design of digital devices and online services enables more affordances for users, increasing demand and the need for further infrastructure growth. We need to break this paradigm to avoid the continuous growth cycle of the internet and its associated emissions. In this talk, Kelly will provide a brief overview of internet traffic demand in everyday life, as well as the opportunities for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) designers and other stakeholders to reduce such demand. She will specifically discuss the new norms of watching that are driving increases in data traffic, given that the majority of global internet traffic is formed by video. She will also discuss her work on designing for moderate and meaningful use of digital devices and online services, utilizing HCI themes of wellbeing, work productivity, online privacy and relationships with others to reduce the demand for digital technology in ways that would positively impact users