Congratulations on the best paper award! What is your paper about?
“My paper presents the results of my research in the field of Information and communication technology (ICT) for social inclusion. In other words, I examine the effects of mobile apps for social inclusion on refugee/immigrant social integration, how successful the implementation is, and I analyze the role of governmental bodies in the whole process, in this case the Swedish Migration Agency (Migrationverket).”
What was the motivation of the jury?
“Outstanding contribution in the field of Social Media and technology for humanity.”
What was the reason behind this report?
“In the beginning, I wanted to develop a mobile app for refugees/immigrant social integration with user-centered design. My specialty is creation of bridging social capital, and at the time I thought that one good mobile app could be a good tool for it. To create the app, I had to start with analyzing the whole ecology of mobile apps in Sweden. By surprise I have found that a rather substantial number of mobile apps for social integration already exists in Sweden. That pushed me to go deeper, behind the scenes and see what is really going on there.”
What are your findings?
“I found that this is not the time for developing new mobile apps. We should rather focus our resources on motivating users on both sides, refugees/immigrants and citizens of Sweden, to use already existing apps. To do this, I propose a couple of things.
Firstly, we need more research to know exactly what users need, since we have to improve existing solutions with a user-centered approach.
Secondly, to transform an unsustainable development to a sustainable one, we should find ways to motivate users to use what is already developed and NOT develop new mobile apps.
Thirdly, social integration is a bilateral process where the responsibility is equally on the side of refugees and on the side of welcoming society.
Finally, I propose using gamification for social integration, or, as I call it, gamified crowdsourced social integration. This would pull us all out of this depressing situation. To get there I hope my research will get more time and funding.”
What does this award mean for your future research?
“I hope it will give me more options to continue my research. I would like to create a wider interdisciplinary and international cooperation on the idea of gamification of social integration."
Read the full report: The Valleys of Death in Refugee Crisis (pdf)