5 Questions With Monica Divitini

Who are the people behind ECSCW 2023? In this series of blogs, we ask our organizing committee some really personal questions. In this post, we talk to Monica who is one of the journal papers chairs of the conference.

1. When and where was your first ECSCW conference?  

Milano 1993. I still have the proceedings (see photo). I was part of the organizing committee. As a young master student who had never been to a conference, it was an amazing experience. I realize now, it was 30 years ago, worth to celebrate. Organizing a conference at that time was a rather different endeavor. So many things have changed! Enough to think that Mosaic, the first graphical web browser, was released that year. Think about organizing a conference without the Web and without mobile phones. …Now I really feel old 😉

2. What sparked your interest in your field of study? 

The choice of the subject for the master was a bit accidental, but then meeting the community was eye-opening. I found my place among people who were putting people and their practices in focus. The group in Milano was fantastic and I got the opportunity to work in the EU Basic Research Action COMIC, a project that shaped the European CSCW community for many years. During the years, my focus shifted, but my way to see the world is deeply influenced by this community.  

3. What was the last book you read and how did it affect you?

Non-academic: Norge i mitt hjerte (Norway in my heart), the autobiography of the current president of the Norwegian parliament. He came to Norway as a refugee when 5 years old and, less than 40, he is one of the highest state officers. Maybe not a literary masterpiece, but this story reminds me of the things I like about Norway.

Academic: I am reading Making IT Design Sustainable by Carla Simone and Ina Wagner. It addresses some very important questions. A very thought-provoking book….and Carla has always been an inspirational figure and role model for me.

4. Do you have any hidden talents or hobbies? 

During COVID I started with traditional Norwegian handicrafts, knitting, and weaving. I do not seem to find much time for that now. Painting is my main hobby for now. Definitely no talent involved, but it is a mindful exercise that works for me.

5. If you weren’t an academic, what career do you think you would have pursued? 

A bookstore with a small café! No doubts. …and I have not yet given up the idea