United We Act / Connected Communities

This research project encompasses a scoping study and a symposium on the topic of connected communities brought about by a team of creative researchers and social scientists from the ‘Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy’ (SiDE) research project.

As researchers from SiDE’s Creative Media group and the Social Sciences Perspective we collaborated on a proposal – awarded £40,000 by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) – to produce a scoping study and to curate an interdisciplinary symposium. The proposal aimed to understand how the everyday creative uses of technology play a role in building, sustaining and re-inventing societies of the future.

The scoping study, entitled ‘Situating Communities through Creative Technologies and Practice’, consists of a literature and project review, exploring the relation between creative uses of digital technologies and the notion of connected communities. It also aims to provide an overview of the subject and suggest directions for future research in this programme.

Hosted in September 2011, the symposium was an outreach event that aimed to open a dialogue on the topic of connected communities among international experts from various disciplines, grassroots community workers, and the general public. The symposium consisted of a conference, an exhibition, a hands-on workshop and a social event. It was particularly important for the organising team that this event was free of charge and open to the general public.

A publication gathers the final report that resulted from our scoping study and collects the expressions of interest of the participants for the international interdisciplinary symposium on connected communities. Additionally, we provide an extended bibliography used during this scoping study as a research tool on the topic.

Project and symposium website
Videos of all the conferences
Download United We Act (PDF)
Purchase a print copy ofUnited We Act(at printing cost)

Info & Credits

Research team:

Joëlle Bitton, Andreia Cavaco, Lalya Gaye, Ben Jones, Graeme Mearns, Ranald Richardson and Atau Tanaka


AHRC and SiDE, Culture Lab, Newcastle University

Graphic Design:

Sally Pilkington