Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS) Conference

Serve-Learn-Sustain, together with the NSF REU Civic Data Science Program at GT, is hosting this satellite conference for the second year in a row as part of the NSF-sponsored Integrated Network for Social Sustainability (INSS), launched by UNC-Charlotte “to encourage a greater appreciation for social aspects of sustainability with a particular focus on engineering and its allied professions.” This annual, multi-site conference is brought together via webcast.  We are excited to co-host this year’s conference with GT’s NSF REU Civic Data Science Program (Data Science for Social Good) and The Institute for People and Technology.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Smart, Connected Communities.” Sites include Charlotte NC, Atlanta GA, Baltimore, MD, and Lima, Peru. Questions to be explored, through our local work and the sessions with the other sites, include but are not limited to:

  • How can data and new technological applications enhance community wellbeing?
  • By what ethical standards should we judge these new applications?
  • For which ‘communities,’ and at which scales, will so-called ‘smart’ technology enhance community wellbeing?
  • Are the purported benefits of ‘smart’ systems possible without technological sophistication?
  • How does the meaning of ‘smart, connected communities’ vary across different cultural and historical contexts?
  • What historical models exist for ‘smart, connected’ communities?


Our local work in Atlanta will build especially on lessons learned from the SLS Smart Cities, Connected Communities Fellows program run in Spring 2017. Our specific goal for the conference is to lay out a plan for launching an SLS-supported “Data Science for Sustainable Communities” Action Group in Fall 2017 to support ongoing collaboration among faculty, staff, students, and partners to enhance and expand teaching, research, and action related to this theme. As such, this will be a working conference with a concrete deliverable. 

Like last year, we aim for a diversity of participants from on-campus (faculty, staff, students) and off-campus (partners from all sectors). Given its narrower scope this year, we anticipate a more intimate conference, really a workshop, of about 50-60 people. Like last year, the conference is offered by GT SLS free of charge.


Event Details


    EBB 1005


  • Tuesday, June 6, 2017
    - Wednesday, June 7, 2017