EU project on co-created personalised mobile access to public services for senior citizens

2016-02-10 12.35.03 I am very excited to announce that we have been selected by the European Commission for a 3-year research and innovation action. The MobileAge project started in February 2016 and will focus on open government data, mobile technology, and the provision of public services in relation to Europe’s elderly population. Europe’s senior citizens are growing steadily and are predicted to comprise of 28% of Europe’s population by 2020. However, senior citizens do not normally share the same level of connectivity to the Internet as younger generations, and while government agencies are increasingly providing their services through digital platforms, this risks excluding senior citizens from the design and use of such services.

Mobile Age will provide the basis for the development of mobile-based open government services focused on senior citizens. We follow a co-creation methodological approach that will allow for a substantive participation of senior citizens. MobileAge will focus on the co-creation of services related to the production and use of open data for cities. This will be achieved by pursuing four objectives:

i) exploring and implementing innovative ways to support senior citizens to access and use public services through personal mobile technologies that are based on open government data,
ii) develop and deploy co-creation approaches and methodologies to engage senior citizens effectively;
iii) develop a situated, practice-based understanding of accessibility, mobility and usability of services from a senior-citizen point of view; and
iv) develop a framework for impact assessment and evaluation for co-creation approaches to open service development for the ageing population.

Mobile Age’s approach will be applied in cities and counties that are already providing innovative approaches for the participation of senior people in the development of city services: Bremen, South Lakeland, Zaragoza and the Region of Central Macedonia, with scenarios related to social inclusion, extending independent living, data curation for a safer and more accessible city, and the management of personal health information.

My role will be to lead a work package on Participatory Design in Civic Tech and Open Data, and I am very much looking forward to this challenging project.

Call for Papers: Considering the performativity of our own research practices

I am delighted to announce the call for papers for our track at 4S/EASST 2016 from 31st August to 3rd September in Barcelona. I’ll be running the session with Lisa Wood and Lucas Introna from Lancaster University. Deadline for paper submissions is 21st February 2016. Please see for more details here.

Short Abstract

What happens if we take Barad’s call for ethico-onto-epistemology seriously? How can we perform STS ‘by Other Means’, open the black box of ethnographies, and participate in their performative enactment more reflexively and creatively? Paper presentation and discussion facilitated by a respondent.

Long Abstract

STS has a strong history of reflecting on the epistemic practices of others. Yet, in spite of a strong methodological focus, STS scholars often only partially consider the performative conditions of their own research practices—not always acknowledging that their own epistemic practices are not merely ‘capturing’ the world, but rather enacting it. As Barad (2007) argues ‘”each of us” is part of the intra-active ongoing articulation of the world in its differential mattering’ (p.381). Through our methods we make particular cuts and we need to acknowledge that these cuts are performative, and that other cuts are possible. How we practice our research is constitutive of what becomes enacted as knowledge (Whitehead, 1978). This has important ontological and ethical implications. Barad asks us to consider an ‘ethico-onto-epistemology’ which appreciates this intertwining of ethics, knowing and becoming.

We invite empirical or theoretical papers relating (but not limited) to the following themes:

● The performative conditions of methods and methodology in STS;

● Production and entanglement of subjects and objects through methods;

● The performativity of ethnographic work (also, reconsidering ethnographic work in terms of alternatives such as autoethnography or digital ethnography). What does doing ethnography differently enact, and why does it matter?

● Ethical, policy, practice and dissemination implications of the performativity of epistemic practices;

● How and what do epistemic practices such as participant observation, interviewing, transcribing, coding, and qualitative analysis enact, and why does it matter?

● What do enactments of epistemic practices offer in relation to everyday practices?

Call for abstract: Performing openess and practicing ‘minga’ in government, education and software development

Raoni Rajão (UFMG, Brazil) and I are organising a sub-theme at next year’s LAEMOS (Latin-American and European Meeting on Organization Studies). The title of our sub-theme is “Performing openess and practicing ‘minga’ in government, education and software development”. For those who are not familiar with the notion of ‘minga’, it is a Latinamerican concept for a collective job done in favour of the community. Hence we are interested in discussing the performance of openness, and ways in which it matters in civic tech contexts in particular.

You may find the call for abstracts here and more information about the conference to be held in Viña del Mar (6-9 April 2016) here. The deadline for abstracts (1000 words) is 10th November 2015. LAEMOS is the premier conference on Latin American and European Organization Studies and supported by EGOS (European Group for Organizational Studies). Its purpose is to strengthen the Latin America–Europe scholarly link by encouraging interdisciplinary studies of organizations in Latin American and European societies. The conference takes place every two years.

European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium

DSC_0324 (2) The 31st EGOS Colloquium took place in Athens from 2nd to 4th of July 2015. I participated in the sub-theme 45: Materiality, Human Agency and Practice which was convened by Eleni Lamprou (ALBA), Nathalie Mitev (King’s College London) and Lucas Introna (Lancaster). The participants included scholars from design research, IS, anthropology, technology studies, gender studies and many more; and covered topics ranging from digital book publishing to 3D printing to fertility treatments. I had the great opportunity to meet a number of scholars whose new work I greatly enjoyed hearing about, in particular Wanda Orlikowski, Susan Scott, Matthew Jones, Séamas Kelly, François-Xavier de Vaujany, Leon Hempel and Roser Pujadas. Overall it was an inspiring track and conversation that demonstrated the width of current research on materiality and practice-based approaches.

I presented a paper entitled: Considering the practicing of sociomaterial research and its enactments. You may find the paper and presentation slides here. → full paperpresentation slides

Data Power Conference

2015-06-22 15.40.00-1Over the last two days I participated in the first DATA POWER conference at Sheffield University which featured a great collection tracks, topics and speakers (see here for the programme).The conference took place in the beautiful Cutler’s Hall.

My presentation was entitled: Open government data practices: Producing ‘open publics’ through civic hacking and included some of the first thoughts and insights on my postdoc project. You may find the full presentation here. → presentation slides

White Paper on Citizen Science

I had the great opportunity to attend the Citizen Science conference, organised by the EU project Socientize in Brussels on 22nd September. The conference organisers managed to assemble a great variety of citizen science projects and intiatives as well as policy makers. There was an enthusiastic athmosphere about this emerging new field of Digital Science. Read more about it in the White Paper on Citizen Science compiled by Socientize.

ENGAGE: An innovative community platform on open government data

I had the great pleasure to participate in the final ENGAGE review yesterday in Brussels. ENGAGE is one of the most sophisticated platforms on open government data and open research data in Europe. Researchers, citizens, civil servants, journalists can work collaboratively on a large selection of data sets making use of advanced visualisation tools and multi-language features. Here is a link to their Website: ENGAGE DATA.