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Dean's Lecture: Jon Whittle on 'Sprinting with the Community' (9/17)

posted Sep 24, 2013, 2:37 PM by San Ng   [ updated Sep 24, 2013, 5:10 PM ]
(Update: Jon's presentation is now available on video here on the iSchool website)

For those of you who missed Jon Whittle last week in class or who want to here more about Catalyst, you should try to attend the Dean's lecture next Tuesday on September 17th at 4-5.30pm. Announcement follows: 

Jon Whittle
Jon Whittle, Lancaster University
Dean's Lecture
Wednesday, September 4, 2013, 4:10 pm - 5:30 pm
210 South Hall

An approach for highly interdisciplinary, community-university research on digital technologies for social change

Catalyst is a £1.9M UK funded research project looking at how digital technologies either promote or act as a barrier to social change. Catalyst has developed a novel approach to such research which involves building partnerships of academics and non-academics (community organizations, charities, social enterprises etc.) to jointly imagine and develop digital technologies to address particular social agendas. Catalyst is run as a framework of projects — or sprints — in which teams form and very quickly work together on new ideas with long term sustainability in mind from the start. To date, Catalyst has involved around 70 community groups as well as academics from seven different disciplines (computing, psychology, sociology, management, health and medicine, art and design, linguistics). Projects to date have worked with charities for the homeless, adults on the autism spectrum, local sustainability initiatives, and the use of social media to connect communities.

In this talk, I will give an overview of the Catalyst project, describe its methods and approaches, and reflect on what has been learned about doing research with and for communities outside the university.