Beyond Being There, for "All of Us": Exploring Webconferencing and Mobile Remote Presence Devices for Accessible Global Governance

Cogburn, Derrick
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United Nations efforts to support multistakeholder global governance continue to lag for persons with disabilities. Given the expense of face-to-face meetings, accessible ICTs could play an important role, enabling remote participation. However, what types of collaboration technologies best meet UN goals and those of remote participants? This study compares use of webconferencing technologies to mobile remote presence devices (MRP) in a UN conference in Mexico addressing Disaster Risk Reduction. It takes an exploratory action research approach working with UNISDR and the Disability-inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DiDRR) Network #AllofUs to convene four remote hubs (Suva, Dhaka, Geneva, DC), each controlling their own MRP in Cancun and having access to the webconference, along with other remote participants around the world. We ask: Which technologies best support required conference tasks; and what social and technological challenges arise with their use? Under the conditions of this study, both technologies appeared to be complementary.
Virtual Teams, Organizations and Networks, Accessible Webconferencing, MRP Devices, Robots, Global Governance, GP2017
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