Being Together Guide

The PDC community is committed to and is working towards building a plural, diverse, accessible, harassment-free, and pleasant conference experience with equity in rights for all. We want every participant to have a voice, feel welcome, included, and safe at the conference. For PDC 2022 we are also doing our uptmost to be inclusive of people all around the world, and to reduce the environmental impacts of our global conference, through the PDC Places initiative.

As part of this, for PDC 2022 we produced what we call our “Being Together Guide”, which outlines our commitments to inclusion, diversity and sustainability, as well as how we aim to work together with the hosts of different PDC Places around the world. You can download the Being Together Guide here.

Invitation to offer an Acknowledgment

The PDC 2022 theme Embracing Cosmologies: Expanding Worlds of Participatory Design, reaffirms important and necessary action for social justice and values a diversity of participatory alliances. So how do we ‘walk the talk’ to ’embrace cosmologies’ and ‘expand worlds’?. How do we welcome and premise our unique differences?

As a way to prepare the ground of welcoming, we invite all hosts, presenters, facilitators and chairs of PDC2022 to offer an Acknowledgement. This is an invitation to acknowledge differing positionalities and relationalities to lands, histories, ancestries, languages, knowledges, and impacts of ongoing colonising. We see this as a custom that welcomes respect, gratitude and disquiet, depending on what you choose to share and call attention to. 

For many, this also includes giving respect to Traditional Custodians and Territories during a gathering. These vary according to people, places and protocols, such as those in Aotearoa New Zealand, Turtle Island (North America) and many Indigenous Nations in a continent now called Australia. What these customs have in common is a ritual that honours unceded lands, ancestral lineage and First Nation custodians, and it is a declaration to commit to relationships and respect for their waterways, skies, stories, knowledges and ancestors. This is a practice for cultural safety that welcomes Indigenous peoples who are participating online and those living and working on First Nations lands, which is a large portion of the globe. We believe this is just as important for those whose nations or ancestries are implicated in colonising, and to recognise the impacts of globalisation where we continue to use and consume resources from disposessed lands. Offering an Acknowledgement is a way to heighten this consciousness to attend to such structures of injustice and exclusion in institutions, disciplines, epistemologies, in both research and design.

Offering an Acknowledgement is an important first step and the Being Together Guide gives further information on ethical practices of gathering. We also offered preparatory sessions to those who are unfamiliar, unsure, curious and willing. These sessions welcomed all levels of experience to be a safe space, free of judgment, to enable participants to ask any questions, no matter how ‘simple’ or ‘trivial’ it may seem. 

You can listen to the audio recording of the two sessions edited together, here:

Further resources can also be accessed here: