Sebastian Prost | Doctoral Trainee

Sebastian Prost

I am interested in sustainable lifestyles and new forms of participatory urban planning. At Open Lab I want to explore how digital technologies can bring together bottom-up citizen initiatives and top-down planning processes. This starts with questions of community engagement and the inclusion of a broad range of stakeholders. A key challenge is finding ways to facilitate constructive dialogue among conflicting interest groups. This also raises the issue of power dynamics and who gets to decide.

My approach to doing research is action-based. I work closely with people using participatory research and design methods. I want to build technology that citizens can appropriate for their cause and not just use them as a data source.

Prior to joining Open Lab I graduated in computer science with a focus on human-computer interaction (HCI) and sociology. I worked as an HCI researcher in Vienna, Austria in the fields of sustainability, energy consumption, smart grids, urban mobility, smart cities, persuasive technologies and assistive technologies.

I am a keen cyclist. Even here in Newcastle, there is no bad weather, only bad gear 😉 Also, I am concerned with ethical consumption choices, in particular food co-ops and food sharing – and how we can use technology to support these practices.

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