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?
 

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

Community gardening, creativity and everyday culture

Principal Investigator: Prof Andrew Church (University of Brighton)
From 2010 to 2011

This project seeks to demonstrate the potential, challenges and capacity of innovative shared creative activities for developing community connections and identities through transformative experiences. It does so in the context of the everyday cultural practice of community farming and gardening. It works with communities that are involved in communal food growing in Sussex, Manchester, and inner London. Read more

Maintaining a faith community: the role of the law

Principal Investigator: Dr Ruth Gaffney-Rhys (University of Wales, Newport)
From 2012 to 2013

Legal rules may have a unifying or a divisive effect and dispute resolution mechanisms may dissipate problems and divisions or reinforce them. Furthermore, faith communities are sometimes confronted with incompatibility between their own religious laws and the secular legal system within which their community is required to operate. 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

Valuing Different Perspectives

Principal Investigator: Dr Peter Matthews
2014

This project will run both a community-led and academic-led evaluation of project legacy from two previous Connected Communities projects – Community Hacking 2.0 and Ladders to the Cloud. At the heart of this proposal are complex issues of power, knowledge and methodology. Within this complexity are simple binaries that can be presented as poles: positivist-interpretivist; academic-community; participatory-external; quantitative-qualitative. Read more

Song Lines to Impact and Legacy: Creating Living Knowledge through Working with Social Haunting

Principal Investigator: Geoff Bright
From 2015 to 2017

This project developed from the previous AHRC Connected Communities ECR Development Project, ‘Working with Social Haunting’ and the AHRC 2016 Festival project ‘Opening the ‘Unclosed Space’: Multiplying Ghost Labs as Intergenerational Utopian Practice’. Read more

Living Together: Re-Thinking Social Unity for a Multi-Faith Society

Principal Investigator: Dr Derek Edyvane, University of Leeds
2011

The ‘civic health’ discourse in contemporary politics presupposes an analogy between the lives of communities and the lives of individuals that is often overlooked. This report examines two prominent philosophical conceptions of the life of an individual – the ‘episodic’ and the ‘narrative’ – and considers what they can tell us about the lives of communities. 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

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

Connection, participation and empowerment in community-based research: the case of the transition movement.

Principal Investigator: Professor Rachel Pain (Durham University); Centre for Social Justice and Community Action
From 2012 to 2013

The project addressed issues identified by Transition Network through its experience of fielding interest from researchers. It documented experiences of Transition groups and researchers involved in research collaborations, created draft guidelines for Transition research, and initiated a broader project on supporting Transition groups to devise appropriate methods for monitoring and evaluation. Read more