Workshop Rationale

Exploring the potential of digital technology to support emotional wellbeing has become an important research topic across HCI over the last decade, motivated by the essential role that emotional wellbeing plays in people’s health and quality of life. A recent shift within psychology research argues that a person’s emotional wellbeing is dependent not only on external factors and a lack of mental illness, but also requires a set of  well developed social and emotional skills, and the possibility for personal growth and development.

However, our understanding of how digital technology can scaffold the learning of such skills, or promote individuals’ self-development more generally, is still in its early stages. Furthermore, little consideration has been given so far to the potential of technology to facilitate preventive approaches that promote and strenghten social and emotional skills for both at-risk and general populations, increasing emotional wellbeing and lowering occurrence of mental illnesses.

This workshop brought together a diverse community of researchers, designers and practitioners to share and consolidate prior work; to identify existing examples of best practice and explore the opportunities that digital technology brings for the development of social and emotional skills crucial to create and maintain mental wellbeing; and to identify the key challenges to learning of such skills, with the view to promote and shape an agenda for future work.

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