critical infrastructure lab launch event April 13 – 14 // Save-the-Date and Call-for-Contributions

*Executive summary / TL;DR*
– The critical infrastructure lab launches on April 13-14, 2023 at the University of
– Send in your session proposals for interactive workshops on April 13th (the lab day)
– Send in your extended abstracts (academics) or position statements (practitioners)
for the panel sessions on April 14th (the research day)
– Send submissions to by March 1st (750-1000 words)


“Infrastructure makes worlds” — Ned Rossiter


Dear colleague, friend, comrade,

Communications infrastructures constitute the invisible scaffolding of social life.
Largely concealed to their end-users, they are becoming the main stage where local and
global economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical conflicts are played out. Once
established,  infrastructures shape societies for decades to come.

On the *13th and 14th of April we will launch the critical infrastructure lab* to
discuss and develop visions of how communication infrastructures can serve the public
interest — and we want to do that with you!

Work in the critical infrastructure lab will focus on the development of new
infrastructural futures that center people and planet over profit and capital. Hosted
at the University of Amsterdam and led by Fieke Jansen, Niels ten Oever, and Maxigas,
the lab will bring together activists, advocates, scholars, policymakers, and industry
actors. Three analytical lenses of standards, geopolitics and environment will be
applied to built an evidence base, investigate and develop infrastructural imaginaries,
and create actionable research for infrastructures that serve the public interest.

*About the launch event*
The two-day event at the University of Amsterdam will take place on the 13th and 14th
of April. It will be a mix of keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, infrastructure
walks, and panel discussions. Both days will be in person, but day 1 will be streamed.
For both days, we invite session proposals from activists, advocates, scholars,
policymakers, and industry.

Day zero, 13th of April, will be a hands-on lab day. It will offer space for
interactive sessions on geopolitics, environment, and standards. We invite proposals
for sessions of 2.5 hours.  For instance, workshops, infrastructure walks, policy
challenges, simulations, etc. Pretty much everything that is _not_ a panel or paper

Day one, 14th of April, will have a more academic structure. It will kick off with
three keynote presentations followed by panel sessions. The keynote speakers – Ksennia
Ermoshina, Svitlana Matviyenko, and Yu Hong – will inspire and challenge us. The
keynotes are followed by Corinne Cath, who will present her research on exclusionary
cultures of internet governance.

The afternoon will be dedicated to simultaneous panel sessions in the areas of
infrastructure and geopolitics, infrastructure and environment, and infrastructure and
standards. Academics can submit an extended abstract (research question,
theory/literature, method, data, preliminary findings) and practitioners can submit a
position statement. These contributions should be between 750 and 1000 words.

*Want to submit*
Do you have an idea you want to workshop, a discussion you want to host, or some
research that you want to present?

State clearly in an email:

    – your name and affiliation,
    – whether you are submitting for day zero or day one,
    – the research area (infrastructure and geopolitics, infrastructure and
environment, or infrastructure and standards)
    – include an abstract, position statement or a blurb for an interactive session!

Send your submission to by March 1st.

The lab and its research is supported by the Ford Foundation, the Internet Society
Foundation, and Omidyar Network.


Fieke, Niels and Maxigas 

Published: 02/23/2023