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Digital Tools at the AHRC 4-hubs Event

Sharing and debating policy challenges for the AHRC, UK Universities and the UK Government using collaborative digital tools

Date Published: 18 March 2015

ImaginationLancaster played host to a conference for the 4 AHRC KE Hubs for the Creative Economy, bringing together researchers from Creative Works London, REACT, CX and Design in Action to share learning approaching the half way mark of the hubs programme. Over 2 days wide ranging discussions took place covering topics that included KE research, methods and impact.

To close the event a digital tool was used to facilitate an energetic discussion around policy challenges relating knowledge exchange in the UK. The session was designed by Jon Dovey, Leon Cruickshank and Roger Whitham. Participants worked in pairs around mobile tablets to identify a propositional challenge for KE policy at the governmental, research council or research institution level. With these propositions defined, all participants were then invited to rank all the contributions by important, before the creators of the top 3 challenges were invited to present them to the conference for one minute.

The activity took less than an hour to complete, but resulted in a diverse range of unique suggestions from participants including the falling educational breadth in graduates and the increasing need for performance indicators with long-term value. Using digital media as opposed to physical media for this task allowed it to progress quickly, incorporate rich imagery and allowed all participants to review the contributions of others simultaneously. The digital tool used, based on the IDEAS platform, allowed the activity to take place in real-time across over 30 screens in the space. The digital nature of the content produced (both text and images) allowed for instant reporting from the event as well as a complete and persistent record of all contributions during the activity.

This event forms part of a broader effort to develop digital tools that offer something beyond a simple change in medium. We are developing digital tools that transform collaborative interactions and enable people to work together more dynamically and effectively.

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