2013-10-25 ESRC Seminar Series: Digital Policy: Connectivity, Creativity and Rights

ESRC Seminar Series: Digital Policy: Connectivity, Creativity and Rights 

Co-organizers: Community University Partnership Programme, University of Brighton; Brighton Fuse; Wired Sussex.

Friday October 25 2013, University of Brighton.

The NPCU’s Ben O’Loughlin is participating in a new seminar series aiming to bring together innovators, practitioners and researchers from across community, policy, academic and the digital and creative sectors to explore new understandings of innovation in the digital age. The accessible nature of digital technologies and networks has put new forms of social, political and community engagement and activism in the hands of growing numbers of people. This has been demonstrated, for example, at large-scales in processes such as the Arab Spring and also in new modes of co-operation such as crowdsourcing and crowdfunding.

Such developments indicate that we need to think about innovation as much more than technological processes: to look behind the technological picture to new approaches to collaboration and creativity for social and cultural as well as economic aims. If we are to benefit from the full potential of the digital economy we need to broaden our understanding of it and of how it relates to society and culture. The seminar will address debates and issues across local, national and global contexts.

Key questions include:

  • Where and how does innovation take place and what are the main factors shaping  it?
  • What is the potential for and challenges of non-profit forms of innovation? 
  •  How has the accessibility of digital technologies impacted on innovation?
  • How do communities and individuals in different parts of the world use digital technologies for social change?
  • How do we build a more inclusive way of doing things to support innovation?
  • What contribution can the arts, design and creativity make to all this?  
  • Are there risks in being too optimistic about the promise of new forms of innovation?

This will be a full day working seminar with limited places (30) to ensure those taking part are as engaged as possible in discussions. Anyone interested in participating should contact the seminar organizer Gillian Youngs (g.youngs@brighton.ac.uk) as soon as possible by email with ‘ESRC seminar series’ in the subject line of the email, their full contact details and a short paragraph on their work and proposed contribution and why they would like to be involved. We welcome participation from people working in all areas of research and practice whether from academic, policy, community, business or cultural sectors. We are keen to hear from PhD students whose work on relevant areas is at an advanced stage.