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Timelines: A World-Building Activity for Values Advocacy


This paper presents Timelines, a design activity to assist values advocates: people who help others recognize values and ethical concerns as relevant to technical practice. Rather than integrate seamlessly into existing design processes, Timelines aims to create a space for critical reflection and contestation among expert participants (such as technology researchers, practitioners, or students) and a values advocate facilitator to surface the importance and relevance of values and ethical concerns. The activity's design is motivated by theoretical perspectives from design fiction, scenario planning, and value sensitive design. The activity helps participants surface discussion of broad societal-level changes related to a technology by creating stories from news headlines, and recognize a diversity of experiences situated in the everyday by creating social media posts from different viewpoints. We reflect on how decisions on the activity's design and facilitation enables it to assist in values advocacy practices.

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