Civil Society & Social Innovation

How can individuals and communities make their voices heard, what are the barriers to community empowerment and how can social innovation and wider participation be enhanced?
 

Unearth Hidden Assets through Community Co-design and Co-production

Principal Investigator: Dr Busayawan Lam, Brunel University
From 2013 to 2014

We believe that each community has many valuable assets, for example people and spaces. However, many assets may not be visible to the majority of community members. This collaborative project works with communities to uncover hidden assets and unlock their potential. Read more

Active citizenship, public engagement and the humanities: the Victorian model

Principal Investigator: Prof Eugenio Biagini (University of Cambridge)
2012

This project sought to give historical perspective to contemporary debates surrounding the role of the humanities in civil society. Read more

Volunteer sport coaches as community assets

Principal Investigator: Dr Mark Griffiths (University of Birmingham)
2011

Community-based sport is an extensive social enterprise run, almost in its entirety, by volunteer sports coaches. A number of recent studies have suggested that participation in community sport has the potential to deliver a wide range of individual and social benefits. It is in this context that volunteer sports coaches might be viewed as valuable ‘community assets’. Read more

Measuring big society

Principal Investigator: Professor Richard Mitchell (University of Glasgow)
From 2010 to 2011

Big Society is a core element of the coalition government’s policy and ideology. It is not easy to define, but in essence a Big Society is one in which citizens and communities take a vastly increased role in managing shaping and delivering public services and the social and physical infrastructure of society. Read more

The university of the village: universities connecting with rural communities

Principal Investigator: Professor Michael Wilson
From 2011 to 2012

This pilot project explored new modes of delivery, enhanced through Next Generation Access Broadband, and was interested to redraw the relationship between universities and rural communities and grant access to university outreach services for those communities. The project in St Agnes resulted in delivering a short film course to the participants who collaboratively made a film about their village. Read more

Cultural Activism in the Community

Principal Investigator: Michael Buser
2012

This scoping study explored literature and debates on cultural activism and communities of place. Cultural activism is defined as a set of creative practices and activities which challenge dominant interpretations and constructions of the world, while presenting alternative socio-political and spatial imaginaries in ways which challenge relationships between art, politics, participation and spectatorship. Read more

Understanding everyday participation – articulating cultural values

Principal Investigator: Dr Andrew Miles (University of Manchester)
2011

This project proposes a radical re-evaluation of the relationship between participation and cultural value. We are used to thinking about the benefits of the arts as a traditional way of understanding culture and its value but what about the meanings and stakes people attach to their hobbies and pastimes? Read more

Cultural intermediation: connecting communities in the creative urban economy

Principal Investigator: Dr Phil Jones (University of Birmingham)
From 2012 to 2016

Cultural intermediation is a set of processes that seek to get people involved in activities within the creative and cultural economy. This can encompass a wide range of activities from poetry coaching through training people with new IT skills, to outreach activities by a local museum. Read more

Starting from Values – Evaluating Intangible Legacies

Principal Investigator: Prof. Marie Harder, University of Brighton
From 2014 to 2015

The project brings together partners from the University of Brighton and two Connected Communities project: The Authority Research Network and Scaling-Up Co-Design. Read more

Creative participation

Principal Investigator: Antonia Layard (University of Birmingham)
From 2011 to 2012

Creative Participation was a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of its Connected Communities programme in 2011-12. The project explored how three ‘pioneer communities’ in Newcastle, Cumbria and Bristol use creativity to involve themselves in place-making and planning practices after initial struggles to have a voice in the process. Read more