Norms for the Digital Age: Call for Proposals for AIT’s 2025 Forum


Archives of IT Forum on Norms for the Digital Age– Tuesday 28 January 2025 – London and Online

Archives of IT (AIT) is organising its second one-day academic-practitioner forum on Norms for the Digital Age. The forum will run from 10am to 4pm on Tuesday 28 January 2025 with spaces for up to 50 in-person participants. It will be hosted as a hybrid event at the Livery Hall of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT) in the historic Smithfield area of the City of London, with facilities for presenting or joining an audience.


The Forum’s objectives are to:


Call for Papers or Panel Proposals

We invite essays and research papers that address the role or impact of norms across a variety of technologies and contexts of use. International differences, historical perspectives, and cross-national or cross-cultural comparisons would be welcomed as would specific case studies. Initially, send us a short 300-500 word abstract and we will respond with our views on developing a fuller account for presentations and discussions at AIT’s January 2025 Forum.


We are welcoming early expressions of interest to offer papers or run panel sessions from 300 – 500 words maximum as soon as possible.

Abstracts will be due by September 1 and full papers or presentations by 30 November.

Send all responses or enquiries to forum@archivesit.org.uk for consideration.



Norms in the Development and Application of Computers, the internet and Emerging Technologies, such as AI

Norms are accepted standards or ways of behaving or doing things with which most people agree. New technologies often generate the need for new norms of behaviour. For example, in the early days of telecommunications, there was much discussion about telephone etiquette. Norms also vary across settings, such as standard ways for conversing in the workplace in contrast to a conversation in one ‘s home. Clearly, new technologies and contexts of use have shaped the norms governing our use of different information and communication technologies, such as the internet, social media, and the smartphone.

Early in the IT industry, there was a high value placed on professionalism in programming and the design of IT. Has the norm of professionalism been eroded by the personal computer and more general and high-level programming languages? Have IT disasters, such as the Post Office Fujitsu Horizon Scandal, created new demands for professionalism in IT?

In international relations, the United Nations and other organisations have been developing norms for state actors. Should there be rules of engagement in cyber or information warfare? For states, the UN Cyber Norms are being proposed to guide nations in lieu of international law.

The United Nation’s 11 voluntary and non-binding rules that describe what states should and should not be doing in cyberspace

And a growing number of experts are proposing a renewed focus on norms for networked individuals. For individuals, many are seeing a need to teach the norms that should guide users of the internet, social media, and AI. People need to think critically to avoid misinformation and act civilly to avoid a toxic internet culture. Just as meetings often abide by rules of order, might there be norms, such as rules of order, to govern democratic conversations and forums online?

Can we bring traditional discussions of such norms as professionalism together with contemporary calls for states and individuals to follow norms and related guidelines as a complement or even an alternative to regulation? Is this placing undue faith in self-regulation, or do we need to focus more seriously on embedding norms in our everyday work and life online?

More Information

This event follows on from AIT’s inaugural Forum on the Histories of the Internet, which took place in January 2024, and is available to read here: https://archivesit.org.uk/ait-forum/