Funded Networks on wider CCN+

We are happy to announce the  groups that received funding to create topical networks were launched in February.

Sustaining Networked Knowledge: expertise, feminist media production, art and activism:

“A key question from the [Literacy, Expertise and Knowledge] scoping study asks: how do cultures and communities become better enabled to engage with, use, control, make sense of and produce digital media? This network builds on the subtheme’s scoping study by moving from issues of access to issues of sustainability. It pursues the question of how non-institutionalized communities become enabled to engage in digital media and how to sustain networked knowledge production. The aim of the network is twofold:

1) To learn. In the face of exclusion how do people become enabled to engage in digital media
2) To create. How can an understanding of these engagements be sustained and made into stable, long-term, forms of networked knowledge

The overarching aim of the network is to learn about existing practices of engagement as well as to generate new ones, and to co-create forms of networked knowledge production that would sustain this learning and sharing of knowledge and expertise as a long term community asset and conversation. Feminism can make, and has historically made, important interventions in sustainability both on national and international levels and in its theoretical and practical embedding to technology. In particular, feminist cultural production has a long history of working to enable engagement with computing, technology and media making. Art and activism are areas of cultural production that cut across communities of exclusion, including intersections of gender, sexuality, race, age, ability, economics and language.”

(Fotopoulou & O’Riordan, ‘Case for Support’)




“The very act of communication is fundamentally an act of storytelling and so the stories we fashion about ourselves to make sense of our life experiences are intrinsically linked to our identity and sense of self (Bruner, 2002), nation and help our understanding of the world. Narrative and storytelling are as critical in today’s digital economy as at any other time, in history, and in order to address the Culture and Communities Network+ aims to understand ‘community and culture in a digital age’, we propose storytelling – and emerging digital means of capturing and sharing stories – as a potential methodological tool for addressing the overarching empirical and collaborative interests. By creating the ‘StoryStorm Network’ we will develop collaborative, co-creative workshops where stories will be created, crafted, and retold. We will do this with a twofold aim: to explore the ways stories are increasingly supported and shaped by digital technology, with the rise of technologies such as hypertext, QR codes or virtual/augmented reality leading to new forms of narrative and to identify how storytelling in its digital and mediated forms might itself support the collaborative investigation within and between the CCN+’s themes and leaders, researchers, practitioners, stakeholders and communities. In other words, to investigate how storytelling can help researchers across CCN+ to achieve their aims and suggest strategies and technologies to support CCN+ and their stakeholders.”

(Abbott et al. ‘Case for Support’)


Current Pilot Projects on Larger CCNetwork+

After the high number of applications to our last round of calls for projects, we are happy to announce the launch of the two pilots starting in February


Everyday Growing Cultures in the North of England: participation, citizenship and local economies  :

 “Those supporting the government’s open data agenda highlight the business case for open data, an economic argument about its money saving potential, along with claims it will lead to better-informed citizens. Both require close and critical
examination. If money is saved, who benefits and makes money from these innovations? How exactly do citizens know about and become better informed through open data? Why should they care? Some within the wide and heterogeneous open data ‘movement’ subsequently point to the importance of ‘really useful’ data (Azyan, 2011), suggesting citizens might care and become better informed if open data was seen as useful in their daily lives. The methods and techniques through which open data is practiced are central to current ideas of digital transformations in the UK and highly relevant to the Communities and Culture Network+ (CC+). This pilot study subsequently addresses these issues by focusing on two discrete, yet connected communities: allotment growing communities (plot holders; allotment societies; those waiting for plots; allotment governing bodies) and the open data community (open data activists; developers; local government; data journalists).” (Vis et al. ‘Case for Support’) 

Digital data analysis, public engagement and the social life of methods:

“Bold epistemological claims are currently being made, in both academic and commercial contexts, about what the analysis of digital, social media or ’big’ data might tell us. People’s web and social media use generates a vast new source of data which, it is suggested, can be used to provide new insights into social networks and relationships, analyse public opinion in real time and on a large scale, and capture people’s actual behaviour as well as their stated attitudes. At the same time, critics argue that the methods of digital data analysis (such as sentiment analysis, social-network analysis, machine learning and natural language processing) represent yet another form of capitalist value extraction (Hearn 2010) or surveillance and control (Andrejevic 2011). Despite these claims, very little is actually known about what happens to the data that is produced through such methods. Our research aims to investigate these claims by examining what is happening on the ground: in particular, how data and the methods by which they are generated operate within specific organisational contexts. Given that a range of organisations use these methods, not just commercial companies, and given the shared interest of the investigators and the Network+ in public engagement, we will work closely with  Leeds Council and Leeds Museums to analyse these public-sector organisations’ use of digital data and the potential application of novel forms of digital data analysis for understanding and engaging their publics.” (Kennedy & Moss, ‘Case for Support’)

Funding Opportunity: Seed Projects

For: Collaborative or academic project, post-doctoral up to experienced researcher.

Amount: £1000-4000 per project, £25K per annum.

Availability: Reviewing dates June, September, December and March


The projects should develop an idea or project, test a concept or theory, be creative or concept driven, and/or develop partnerships through activities.

Further information relating to this call and the costing template which must be completed and submitted with all proposals can be found attached to this email or via the website at: Proposals should be submitted to Rosie Wilkinson (

If you have an interest in this project, but have more questions, please contact Kathryn Vincent on  If you have an idea, but need partners, you can advertise in the comments below.

Funding Opportunity: Second Call for Pilot Studies from CCN+

For: Open call.  CCN+ members, SMEs, voluntary organisations and local government.

Amount: Up to £20,ooo for projects 6 months in length.  Two projects to be funded

Availability: Deadline of 4pm on 25th of March.


Although this call is open and could relate to any area within the Communities and Culture strand of the Network+ (see we are particularly keen to receive project proposals from areas investigating issues of health, wellbeing and resilience. Re-written proposals from the first round and new proposals are welcome.  Projects will start no later than June 2013 and run for 6 months.

Further information relating to this call and the costing template which must be completed and submitted with all proposals can be found attached to this email or via the website at:


If you have an interest in this project, but have more questions, please contact Kathryn Vincent on  If you have an idea, but need partners, you can advertise in the comments below.

Conference on Digital Technologies in Emerging Economies

Dear Members,

Please see below for details of the workshop ‘Emerging Economies: International Perspectives’ .  For more information, click the link:

“The Emerging Economies: International Perspectives workshop will bring together experts from different fields and regions to spend a day analysing the extent to which IT as a Utility enables rapid progress to be made in the development of emerging economies.

We are pleased to welcome Professor John Wood, secretary general of the Association of Commonwealth Universities to the workshop.

The workshop will explore how innovative practices have emerged in parts of the world where Information Technologies has fostered rapid economic development or is, at least, inextricably linked to its enablement. This could include such things as:

•  ad hoc mobile phone-based networks

•  modified drink chiller units used to support the distribution of medicines •  sensor-laden medical instruments interacting with mobile apps to support skilled workers •  affordable spectrometers made from off-the-shelf electronic components to aid disaster relief •  the benefits of introducing high speed networks into technology-free regions While the clearest benefits of these innovations can be seen in developing countries, there are equally examples of such practices being adopted in developed economies to enable rapid change outside of existing infrastructure constraints.

By the end of the day we will have identified some interesting conclusions and key recommendations for follow-up actions. These might relate to research or to stimulating the innovation, business and policy communities.

We welcome members of all research disciplines who have interests in such areas from all parts of the world. Some help with travel arrangements may be available for key contributors.

This workshop is one of a series organised by the RCUK-funded IT as a Utility Network+ which is run from The University of Southampton, UK.”

Developing Project 2: Entrepreneurial Workshops

For: Post-graduate students, early career researchers, and aspiring entrepreneurs who would like to develop the skills necessary to turn their brilliant ideas into practical research proposals/business models.

Amount: Cost for attendance is currently TBA.  Some bursaries available for member of core CCN+ network.

Availability: Two workshops are planned, one for each summer/autumn 2013 and 2014.

Description: The University of Aberdeen will be hosting entrepreneurial workshops for researchers and entrepreneurs.  These workshops include courses on effective communication skills, time management, business plan design/grant applications, and project implementation.  Contrary to popular television programmes which show entrepreneurs as vicious and   morally repulsive, these workshops are designed to help creative individuals develop their skills and ideas in a realistic setting.

Are there particular skill-sets that young/new entrepreneurs are looking to acquire?

Do successful social entrepreneurs have any advice on the most important skills they have used in their work?

Are there any successful entrepreneurs who would be willing to attend these workshops to add useful critique?

Developing Project 1: Short-term exchanges

For: Social Enterprises looking for short-term knowledge exchange programme.

Amount: Not funded as of yet

Availability: Only an idea in development at the moment, but input from participants in other programmes would be appreciated.

Description: We are looking at developing some short-term programmes for students to gain work experience in their fields.

This proposal is in its earliest stage, but we would like to see if there is any interest and/or input from members of our network.

If you have suggestions, or would be interested in developing an exchange programme with the University, please comment below or email Kathryn Vincent at