Affiliate Positions

  • Director, Technology & Social Change Group
  • Co-Founder, Center for an Informed Public
  • Affiliate Associate Professor, Information School

Specializations

  • ICT and development
  • Public libraries
  • Civic engagement

Biography

Chris Coward is Senior Principal Research Scientist at the University of Washington Information School. Chris studies issues of information access, digital inclusion, digital skills, and civic engagement, primarily in resource-limited populations and countries. Much of his work focuses on these issues in the context of public libraries. His current work examines misinformation and civic discourse, with the aim of developing new library programs and services that better respond to changes in the information environment. He is interested in the integration of digital and physical spaces as a way of fostering more constructive engagements with information.

Chris directs the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA), a research center he co-founded in 1999 (then Center for Internet Studies) that explores the role of digital technologies in building more open, inclusive, and equitable societies. Under his leadership, TASCHA has grown in size and stature with projects spanning more than 50 countries. In 2019 he was one of five principal investigators to co-found the Center for an Informed Public (CIP), a new center with a mission of resisting strategic misinformation and strengthening democratic discourse.

Education

  • Master of Public Administration, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, 1997
  • MA, International Studies, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, 1997
  • BA, East Asian Studies, Columbia University, 1986

Publications and Contributions

Presentations

  • Connected Learning: The Essential Mindset to Serve Rural Youth in America (2022)
    Connected Learning Summit - Online
  • LIS Forward Forum: Shaping Future Directions for LIS to Thrive and Grow in iSchools. (2022)
    iSchools organziation - Virtual
  • Loki's Loop Escape Room (2022)
    Seattle, WA (virtual)
  • Misinformation Escape Room (2022)
    Dagstuhl Seminar - Wadern, Germany
  • Misinformation Escape Room: A Gamified Approach to Building Resilience to Misinformation (2022)
    PLA 2022 (Public Library Association) - Portland, Oregon
  • Misinformation Escape Room: A Gamified Approach to Building Resilience to Misinformation (2022)
    University of Copenhagen - Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Misinformation Escape Room: A Gamified Approach to Building Resilience to Misinformation (2022)
    Media Literacy Training Program for English Teaching Assistants in Central Asia, U.S. Department of State - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room: A Gamified Approach to Building Resilience to Misinformation (2022)
    United Nations, Peacekeeping Division - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room: A Gamified Approach to Building Resilience to Misinformation (2022)
    New Zealand, Department of the Internal Affairs - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room: A Gamified Approach to Misinformation Learning (2022)
    ARSL 2022 Conference, Association for Rural & Small Libraries - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room: Building Misinformation Literacy through an Immersive Learning Experience (2022)
    LibLearnX, American Library Association - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room: Civic media, games & misinformation (2022)
    SIGCAS Showcase, ACM Computers and Society - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room: Designing a gamified approach to misinformation education (2022)
    Connected Learning Summit - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room: The Euphorigen Investigation (2022)
    Misinfo Day, University of Washington, Center for an Informed Public - Online
  • Misinformation: Libraries Making a Difference (2022)
    Cincinnati Public Libraries - Cincinnati, OH
  • Promoting public libraries as centers of youth civic engagement (2022)
    Connected Learning Summit - Online
  • Reconfiguring ICTD research in the wake of Covid-19 (2022)
    ICTD 2022 (International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and International Development) - Seattle, WA
  • Researching misinformation in ICTD (2022)
    International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and International Development - Seattle, WA
  • Co-creating an NSF Proposal on Civic Innovation with Community Partners: Case study (2021)
    Going Public: Advocacy, Activism, and Building Trust - Online
  • Community Approaches to Misinformation (2021)
    UW iSchool - Virtual
  • Escape from Misinformation? Designing an alternative approach to misinformation learning (2021)
    Technology & Social Change Group Public Library Colloquium - Online
  • Escape rooms – a new format for fighting disinformation? (2021)
    Media & Learning - Virtual
  • From learning to experiencing misinformation: The need for alternative approaches to misinformation education (2021)
    21st Century Change Makers: Countering Disinformation among Older Adults, International Visitor Leadership Program, U.S. Department of State - Washington, D.C.
  • If facts don’t matter, how do we combat misinformation? (2021)
    University Women’s Club - Seattle, Washington
  • Misinformation Escape Room (2021)
    2021 ARSL (Association of Rural and Small Libraries) - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room (2021)
    2021 Washington Library Association (WLA) conference - Virtual
  • Misinformation Escape Room: A Gamified Approach to Building Resilience to Misinformation (2021)
    Library of Congress - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room: A gamified approach to developing resilience towards misinformation (2021)
    2nd WHO Infodemic Management Training, World Health Organization - Geneva, Switzerland
  • Misinformation Escape Room: The Euphorigen Investigation (2021)
    Lie Detectors - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room: The Euphorigen Investigation (2021)
    Distinguished Humphrey Fellowship Program: Media and Information - Seattle, Washington
  • Misinformation Escape Room: The Euphorigen Investigation (2021)
    The Downtown School - Seattle, Washington
  • Misinformation Escape Room: The Euphorigen Investigation (2021)
    MozFest - Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Misinformation Escape Room: The Euphorigen Investigation (2021)
    Next Library Voices - Online
  • Misinformation Escape Room: The Euphorigen Investigation (2021)
    Distinguished Humphrey Fellowship Program: Media and Information - Seattle, Washington
  • Moving Forward with Communities and Technologies (2021)
    Community Day at the 10th International Conference on Communications & Technologies - Virtual
  • The Euphorigen Investigation (2021)
    Next Library Conference - Virtual
  • "You have to hide the vegetables": The need for new directions in misinformation programming (2020)
    Washington Library Association - Spokane, WA
  • Going Public: Opening Scholarship to All (2020)
    UW Libraries, University of Washington - Seattle, Washington
  • Libraries and Misinformation (2020)
    Community Labs Workshop, King County Library System - Bellevue, Washington
  • Misinformation and Public Libraries (2020)
    OPENCON - Cleveland, Ohio
  • Stand with the Facts: Community Solutions to Combat Misinformation (2020)
    KUOW - Seattle, Washington
  • Unmasking Misinformation (2020)
    TEDx SnoIsle Libraries - Online
  • Who can we trust? Technology's impact on democracy (2020)
    Town Hall Seattle - Seattle, WA
  • Digital Skills for Digital Equity: Identifying Skills Covered in Digital Literacy Frameworks and Curricula (2019)
    Information School Research Fair, University of Washington - Seattle, Washington
  • Examining the role of public library as access venues for information and communication technologies (ICTs) in developing countries: A case in Namibia (2019)
    iConference 2019 - Washington, D.C.
  • Misinformation and its Malcontents: University of Washington Research and Implications for Libraries (2019)
    ALA Midwinter 2019 - Seattle, WA
  • Namibia’s Regional Libraries: Final Report of the Regional Study and Resource Center (RSRC) Evaluation (2019)
    Millennium Challenge Corporation - Windhoek, Namibia
  • Namibia’s Regional Libraries: Final Report of the Regional Study and Resource Center (RSRC) Evaluation (2019)
    Millennium Challenge Corporation - Washington, D.C
  • Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA): Exploring the role of digital technologies in building more open, inclusive, and equitable societies (2019)
    Information School Research Fair, Unviersity of Washington - Seattle, Washington
  • Whither ICTD (2019)
    10th Annual International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), IIM Ahmedabad - Ahmedabad, India
  • A Dynamic Approach to Digital Skills (2018)
    Mobile Learning Week - Paris, France
  • Defining and mainstreaming digital skills (2018)
    UNESCO/ITU Mobile Learning Week 2018 - Paris, France
  • Namibia Regional Libraries Evaluation: Interim evaluation results (2018)
    Millennium Challenge Corporation - Washington, D.C
  • Namibia Regional Library Evaluation: Interim Results (2018)
    Stakeholder Workshop with Namibia Government and Library stakeholders - Windhoek, Namibia
  • TASCHA and Future of Libraries (2018)
    Information School Research Fair, University of Washington - Seattle, Washington
  • Using data science to understand reading patterns in the global south: Lessons from the Mobile Reading Data eXchange (MRDX) project (2018)
    Libraries in the age of big data, data science, and digital connectivity: Continuities, disruptions, and opportunities - Seattle, Washington
  • Advancing Library Visibility in Africa (2017)
    IFLA Global Vision, Regional Workshop Africa - Yaoundé, Cameroon
  • Even Kids Can Do It: Making online learning work for your communities (2017)
    Next Library Festival - Aarhus, Denmark
  • IFLA Strategic Partners Meeting (2017)
    2017 World Library and Information Congress - Wroclaw, Poland
  • Launching the Development and Access to Information report (2017)
    Remarks at side event of the UN High Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals, New York Public Library - New York, New York
  • Mobile Information Literacy: Libraries serving an increasingly mobile-first and mobile-centric world (2017)
    IFLA Global Vision, Regional Workshop Africa - Yaoundé, Cameroon
  • TASCHA and Future of Libraries (2017)
    Information School Research Fair, University of Washington - Seattle, Washington
  • Public Libraries and Mobile Phones: Something Serious and Something Fun (2016)
    International Network of Library Innovators (INELI) South Asia - Seattle, Washington
  • Addressing last mile connectivity (2015)
    Digital Strategies of Development Summit, International Telecommunications Union - Cebu City, Philippines
  • Coding for career: Expanding opportunities for youth employment in developing countries (2015)
    Digital Strategies for Development Summit 2015 - Cebu City, The Philippines
  • Digital Information Literacy for Mobile-First Users (2015)
    Information School Research Fair - Seattle, Washington
  • Leadership Roundtable on Library Innovation (2015)
    The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, Dialogue on Public Libraries - Washington, D.C.
  • Libraries as engines of development in an age of technological change (2015)
    University of KwaZulu-Natal - Durban, South Africa
  • Libraries as engines of development in an age of technological change (2015)
    Ethekwini Municipal Libraries - Durban, South Africa
  • New Spaces of Social Activism (2015)
    University of KwaZulu-Natal, Centre for Civil Society - KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Touring TASCHA Research (2015)
    Change Seminar, University of Washington - Seattle, Washington
  • Civil Society Innovation Initiative: Co-Creation Workshop (2014)
    Civil Society Innovation Initiative: Co-Creation Workshop - Istanbul, Turkey
  • Human-human-computer interaction: The rise of innovation spaces and implications for libraries (2014)
    Information School Research Symposium - Seattle, Washington
  • Beyond Access Annual Meeting (2013)
    Beyond Access Annual Meeting - Washington, D.C.
  • Challenging the stepping stone theory of technology acquisition: The role of libraries and public access to ICTs (2013)
    5th European Congress on e-Inclusion, Civic Agenda - Brussels, Belgium
  • Connecting youth to emerging employment opportunities: New strategies for telecentres (2013)
    Spark: 4th Global Forum on Telecentres - Granada, Spain
  • Do Public Access ICTs have an Impact on Socio-Economic Development (2013)
    WSIS+10: Towards Knowledge Societies for Peace & Sustainable Development, UNESCO - Paris, France
  • Do Public Access ICTs have an Impact on Socio-Economic Development? Findings of the Global Impact Study (2013)
    Beyond Access Annual Meeting - Washington D.C.
  • Do public access ICTs make a difference in people's lives? Findings from the Global Impact Study (2013)
    Spark: 4th Global Forum on Telecentres - Granada, Spain
  • Expanding the impact of public libraries: Is the offline/online distinction relevant? (2013)
    Foros Semana - Bogota, Colombia
  • Global Impact Study: Learning from the Evidence (2013)
    Global Libraries Peer Learning Meeting - Cape Town, South Africa
  • Innovation Spaces: From access to information to access to each other (2013)
    Contexto Digital - Bogota, Colombia
  • Innovation Spaces: From access to information to access to each other (2013)
    African Library Summit 2013, IFLA - Pretoria, South Africa
  • Public Libraries for Development: Has their time come and gone? (2013)
    University of Michigan School of Information - Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • The Impact of Public Access to ICTs: Findings from a Five-Year, Eight-Country Study (2013)
    ICTD 2013 Conference - Cape Town, South Africa
  • The role of libraries in the digital age: A view from abroad (2013)
    Floro Semana - Bogota, Colombia
  • Beyond Access Philippines Workshop (2012)
    International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) - Manila, The Philippines
  • Capturing Impact for Development (2012)
    Library Innovators’ Camp, Beyond Access, International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) - Washington, DC
  • Global Impact Study and Library Advocacy (2012)
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Libraries International Advocacy Working Group - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Global Impact Study of Public Access to ICTs: Research Plan (2012)
    Global Libraries Peer Learning Meeting, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Helsinki, Finland
  • Perceptions of Libraries as Development Partners (2012)
    Global Libraries Development Initiative (GLDI) Organizing Committee Summit, International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) - Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Perceptions of Libraries as Development Partners (2012)
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Libraries International Advocacy Working Group - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Research on Public Libraries at the UW Information School (2012)
    Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Seattle, Washington
  • Want open research? Deep dive into the Global Impact Study (2012)
    ICTD 2012 - Atlanta, GA
  • Public Access to ICTs: The Research Divide (2011)
    3rd Global Forum on Telecentres - Santiago, Chile
  • Computing at the Margins Symposium (2010)
    Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA
  • Global Impact Study of Public Access to ICTs (2010)
    Global Libraries Peer Learning Meeting, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Helsinki, Finland
  • Impact of Community Technology Centers: Fishbowl Discussion of Methods and Findings (2010)
    iConference 2010, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champagne, Illinois
  • Measuring Access: Indicator of the Impacts of Indirect Access to Information and Communication Technologies (2010)
    IFLA World Library and Information Congress - Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Roundtable: Research Methods in Community Informatics at the Broadband Moment (2010)
    iConference 2010, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champagne, Illinois
  • South to North: A fishbowl on the transferability of ICTs in income-poor countries to income-rich countries (2010)
    International Conference on Information Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD 2010); Royal Holloway, University of London - London, UK
  • TASCHA Research Highlights: 2011-2012 (2010)
    Global Libraries Peer Learning Meeting, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Helsinki, Finland
  • Bridging ICTD and Global Libraries (2009)
    3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD 2009) - Doha, Qatar
  • Bridging Libraries and ICTD (2009)
    Workshop at the 75th IFLA General Conference and Assembly - Milan, Italy
  • Demonstrating Impact: Why policy makers should care about public access computing (2009)
    European Congress on E-Inclusion: Technology and Beyond in Public Libraries - Brussels, Belgium
  • Free Access to Computers and the Internet at Public Libraries: International Reflections on Outcomes & Methods (2009)
    Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIST) - Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • From Research to Researchable Questions: Experiences from the Global Impact Study of Public Access to ICTs (2009)
    IDRC PAN All Partners Conference, Wawasan Open University - Penang, Malaysia
  • ICTD evaluation 20/20: Voices from around the world (2009)
    International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development - Doha, Qatar
  • Mobile Phone Revolution in the Developing World (2009)
    World Affairs Council - Seattle, Washington
  • Social and Economic Impacts of ICTs: Reconciling horizontal and vertical approaches to ICT4D (2009)
    Challenges and Perspectives of the Digital Inclusion in the Society of Information, Biblioteca Nacional de Brasília ou Itamaraty asilia - Brasilia, Brazil
  • Young Researchers Workshop (2009)
    3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD 2009) - Doha, Qatar
  • Linking the Global Libraries and ICTD Communities (2008)
    IFLA/Gates Foundation meeting - The Hague, Netherlands
  • Measuring Impact: A Five-Year Study of Public Access to ICT (2008)
    Investigating the Social and Economic Impacts of Digital Information and Communication Technologies - Santiago, Chile
  • Research capacity in Asia: A literature review on the information society (2007)
    Research in the Information Society, International Development Research Centre (IDRC) - Manila, Philippines
  • The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on Individuals (2007)
    Global Knowledge Conference (GK3) - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Workshop on ICTD Methodologies (2007)
    International Conference on Information Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD 2007) - Bangalore, India
  • Research Methodologies for the Information Society (2006)
    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) - Manila, The Philippines