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The debate over the real-world impact of research continues in many applied disciplines, including ICT research. We propose that concepts from social informatics can be used to analyze and critique the visions put forward by ICT- based professional societies that are striving for more impactful and pro-social research. Using the recent case of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) ‘Bright ICT Initiative’, we seek to understand how a general desire for more social benefit and research impact translates into a specific problem definition (cybersecurity), and further translates into specific solutions (new internet protocols, a new global governance center). The analysis highlights the importance of interactions (or lack thereof) with other social worlds in the peculiar framing of this initiative.


Presented at the 11th Social Informatics Research Symposium: The Impacts of Social Informatics Research. 2015 ASIS&T Conference, St. Louis, MO, USA.