December 2016 Bulletin: Selected News Stories

15 December 2016

An early Happy Holidays and New Year from the Balance Network!

This is one of our last “full” bulletins, since our EPSRC funding comes to an end on January 31.  We’ll say farewell to Stephanie and Joana, but keep sending us your events, news and any funding opportunities you see and we will circulate in a semi-regular bulletin.

1.    Autumn/Winter 2016 Balance Network Activities
2.    News: Ways of Being in a Digital Age – ESRC Scoping Review
3.    Publications
4.    Related Events and Funding Opportunities

1. Autumn/Winter 2016 Balance Network Activities
Our final events of this second series will be completed by December 19, but we are pleased to announce that a couple activities were so successful that they might lead to additional events in January.  Keep an eye on the webpage for the latest details. Feel free to disseminate!

CONVERSATION PIECES, 12 & 13 December, London
Paulina Yurman, PhD Student in Goldsmiths Design Department, hosted these two-hour workshops. Design proposals that revolved around the tensions brought by digital devices that blur the line between work and play were discussed. For details on this and her previous event, contact Paulina or visit the event webpage.

Dr Luigina Ciolfi and Dr Eleanor Lockley of Sheffield Hallam University hosted research and networking activities on strategies of technology appropriation that individuals implement to handle work/life demands. For more information, see their website, Storify page or contact Luigina.

Dr Josef Ploner & Dr Anastasia Gouseti gathered early career academics to share current and ongoing research into work-life balance specifically within academic contexts. For more information, contact Josef.

Dr Lisa Wood of Lancaster University, will lead a one-day workshop in collaboration with Tracy Hauver of the University of Liverpool. The workshop will explore opportunities and barriers in socio-digital support for military spouses and families. For more information, contact Lisa.

Social entrepreneurs are invited for an afternoon exploring the challenges and opportunities of digital technologies for their work-life balance, including an opportunity to co-create practical solutions and on-going support. This workshop builds on the work of one of the Balance Network’s sister-projects, Digital Brain Switch. Social entrepreneurs interested in attending should sign up here.

THE ROLE OF MICROBOUNDARIES FOR WORK-LIFE BALANCE, tentatively 12 & 23 January workshops
Marta Cecchinato, PhD student, and Dr Anna Cox of UCL may host two additional intervention workshops related to the use of “microboundaries” by knowledge workers who are experiencing work-life balance challenges. For more information, contact Marta.

WORK-LIFE BALANCE WITHIN THE IT PROFESSION, tentatively-scheduled January workshop
Dr Penny Hart, Dr Penny Ross and Dr Carl Adams may co-host a BCS (British Computing Society) meeting in Southampton to discuss some of the outputs from their involvement in the World IT survey. For more information, contact Penny H.

2. News
Ways of Being in a Digital Age – ESRC Scoping Review
The Institute of Cultural Capital, in collaboration with 17 other partner universities and organisations, is leading an ESRC scoping review on “Ways of Being in a Digital Age”. The scoping review will inform potential future ESRC initiatives in this area. It will provide a holistic view of how digital technology mediates our lives, and of the way technological and social change co-evolve and impact on each other.

3. Publications
Publication: Ethical dilemmas of digital research
“Reflecting on the risks and ethical dilemmas of digital research,” authored by Hayley Sparks, Francis L. Collins, and Robin Kearns is available in Geoforum, Volume 77, December 2016, Pages 40–46.  The study outlines the risks within the opportunities of digitally-based research, discusses the inter-connectedness of institutions, research procedures, and ethics are inter-connected and discusses the unexpected events can impact researcher well-being.

Call for Papers: ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) – Special Issue on Re-imagining Participatory Design
Original contributions are requested for a Special Issue of TOCHI on Reimagining Participatory Design. In particular, research contributions are requested that address the potentials and failures of participatory design in pursuing its democratizing project in emerging Information Technology domains. Abstracts are due 5 Jan and full submissions are due 23 Jan.

4. Related Events and Funding Opportunities
Digital Geographies Working Group
The Digital Geographies Working Group invites proposals by 6 January for sessions at the 2017 Annual Conference of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Members of the newly formed DGWG and anybody working on digital topics (including e.g. digital technologies, data, online spaces, social media), both in the geographical and related communities, are invited to propose sessions. We would welcome joint sessions with other research groups. Proposals should relate to debates, literatures or approaches around the digital. Proposals for, or questions about, DGWG sponsored sessions should be sent to Dorothea Kleine. Proposals should be submitted on the RGS Session Proposal form.

Research Methods for Digital Work: Innovative Methods for Studying Distributed and Multi-Modal Working Practices, 25 – 26 May 2017, University of Surrey
This workshop will focus on a key question for studies of contemporary work across disciplines: how can we combine methods or devise new methods to capitalise on diverse forms of data, in order to build rich and theoretically-fruitful understandings of digitally-suffused working life? This event draws on expertise across a range of disciplines, including management and organization studies, sociology, anthropology, Science and Technology Studies, work psychology, design informatics and HCI. We aim to promote a cross-fertilization of approaches across disciplines. For more information please contact Dr Christine Hine.

Researcher in Residence
Digital Catapult and the RCUK Digital Economy (DE) Theme are accepting applications for their Researcher in Residence programme.  PhD students working on digital projects can develop their ideas further by applying for a residency at the Digital Catapult Centre in London or at a local centres across the UK before 8 January 2017.

Are digital technologies making politics impossible?
The Nine Dots Prize is a new prize for creative thinking that tackles contemporary societal issues. Entrants are asked to respond to a question in 3,000 words, with the winner receiving US$100,000 to write a short book expanding on their ideas. The question is: Are digital technologies making politics impossible? The aim of the Prize is to promote, encourage and engage innovative thinking to address problems facing the modern world. The name of the Prize references the nine dots puzzle – a lateral thinking puzzle which can only be solved by thinking outside the box. The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2017.

As always, please do circulate this notice to relevant contacts and networks. If you’d like us to include an item in the bulletin and on our website, email a title and short description to

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