New social structures are emerging

Individuals are discovering beneficial ways to use technology, incorporating technology into their lives in many different ways. People are continually shaping their presence in merging realities and finding new ways to establish trust between each other. New social structures are emerging, and per- sonal lives, organizations and business are adapting.

Accepting the hypothesis that human beings are increasing their participation in ‘communities of systems and people’, the question that guides ongoing research is ‘How should systems be designed for human beings to be willing to accept them?’ (Brazier and van der Veer 2009). This paper, based on the open exploratory study ‘Witnessed Presence and Systems Engineering’, focuses on how people integrate technology in their day-to-day lives. Twenty interviews with professionals in different domains shed light on the process of adaptation to technology- mediated network environments from the perspective of the individual human being who performs his/her presence and establishes trust or not. First focus in the interviews was Witnessed Presence, a phenomenon that is fundamental to social structures. It functions as a catalyst for presence and for trust (Nevejan 2009). Secondly, the focus was YUTPA framework and its 4 dimensions of Time, Place, Action and Relation through which presence and trust configurations emerge, and this inspired the interviews (Nevejan 2007). As a result, new light is shed on the design of presence and on the design of trust in the current emerging network society.
Section 2 addresses methodology. Section 3 presents
theoretical concepts that guide the research: the YUTPA framework and Witnessed Presence. Section 4 focuses on witnessing. Section 5 identifies factors related to the four Yutpa dimensions. Section 6 discusses results and sug- gestions for future research.

CN , Frances Brazier