Digital Society Network events

Picture of data visualisation event

Image of Dr Carolyn AxtellData & Employee Wellbeing: Findings from an ESRC Seminar Series

Dr Carolyn Axtell, Institute of Work Psychology, Sheffield University Management School

Tuesday 24 April 2018, 4pm
ICOSS Conference room, The University of Sheffield

This seminar will outline the findings of a multi-disciplinary seminar series on the topic of Big Data and Employee Wellbeing (http://www.dew.group.shef.ac.uk/). The seminar series critically explored whether large, complex sets of data could be combined and used to assess wellbeing risks within organisations. Such an approach might allow identification of problems at an early stage, thus allowing intervention before they lead to poor wellbeing, sickness absence or employee turnover. This question was examined from work psychology, sociological, legal/ethical and information systems/data perspectives. Opportunities, challenges and concerns were raised throughout the seminar series which culminated in the development of a research agenda and set of learning points that may stimulate a way forward. The seminar series was facilitated and supported by the Digital Society Network.

Carolyn Axtell has 25 years of research and practice experience within the area of work psychology, having conducted and led research projects in a range of organisations in both the public and private sector. Her research has involved investigating the human and organisational impacts of new technology and new ways of working - in particular the impact on employee wellbeing. Her interest in Big Data relates to the question of how organisations might be able to manage employee wellbeing more effectively in the age of digitisation.

Image of fake news illustrationDigital Methods for Understanding Fake News (hands-on digital methods workshop)

Dr Jonathan Gray, Kings College London

Monday 11 June 2018, 10.30am - 3pm
ICOSS SMI seminar room 2nd floor, The University of Sheffield

This workshop will explore digital methods for exploring “scenographies” of circulation of fake news, drawing on recipes in the recent Field Guide to Fake News. This is a project for the Public Data Lab and a resulting publication which looks at using digital methods to study false viral news, political memes, trolling practices and their social life online. For more information and to download the guide, see here.

Interested in attending? Email digitalsociety@sheffield.ac.uk to register.

Image of Jonathan GrayDeath, Taxes and Gases: Data Infrastructures as Matters of Concern

Dr Jonathan Gray, Kings College London

Monday 11 June 2018, 4pm - 5pm
Diamond workroom 1 (G04), The University of Sheffield

How are digital technologies redistributing practices of making data public and making public data? How are different actors challenging, contesting and creating alternatives to official data infrastructures and regimes of datafication? How do issue activists, civic hackers and others mobilise in order to change how issues are accounted for through data? This paper looks at what can be learned from several cases where transnational data infrastructures become "matters of concern", leading to interventions and alternatives. Whilst the UN talks of "data gaps", this framing over-emphasises the representational capacities of information systems, and does not do justice to the many different ways in which data can be created in relation to different issues. In order to account for the performative capacities of data infrastructures in rendering and shaping collective life, the paper examines what can be learned from ongoing mobilisations around public data - including around deaths (e.g. police killings and deaths in migration); taxes (e.g. the economic activities and tax contributions of multinationals); and gases (e.g. carbon emissions and air pollution). It looks at the methods, devices, technologies and practices through which alternative data worlds are created, maintained and seek public recognition and legitimation. It considers how controversies around data infrastructures may inform more ambitious forms of public involvement, intervention and imagination around processes of datafication, as well as suggesting possible unintended consequences of rendering life as data.

Jonathan Gray is lecturer in critical infrastructure studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London where he is currently writing a book on ‘data worlds’ and the politics of public information. He is also Co-Founder of the Public Data Lab and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.

Image of InstEAD logoDigital Hyperconnectivity: Exploring Social and Economic Effects

Tuesday 19 June 2018

A one-day workshop with keynotes by Professor Helen Margetts from the Oxford Internet Institute and others, organised by the Institute for Economic Analysis of Decision-making (InstEAD), Department of Economics.

Details to be confirmed.

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