January 2017 Bulletin: Selected News Stories

26 January 2017

We hope you enjoy the final Balance Network bulletin of the funded project! Rosie will continue to send occasional bulletins to BN members, reporting on final outputs from the Network’s activities, and when events and funding opportunities come up. Therefore please in future send items for dissemination – from digital wellbeing/work-life balance to digital research more generally – to her via rosie.robison@anglia.ac.uk. It’s been a fantastic four years for us whilst our EPSRC-funding has run, and we’ve enjoyed meeting many of you and being able to fund such a diverse range of exciting activities.

Stephanie is off to manage an RSPCA animal centre with her newly-earned MSc Animal Behaviour (distinction!), Joana will be continuing her degree and working at a hospital on projects related to her field of interest, biomedical sciences. Victoria, who helped us last summer and this month as we wrap up, continues with her PhD studies at Sheffield. Sam, who’s been behind the scenes supporting all our budgeting and finance will move on to supporting other ARU projects. A huge thank you to all of them and the many others who have supported the Network and collaborated with us on 20+ events and activities since Feb 2013.

At the Global Sustainability Institute at ARU, Rosie will be focussing primarily on the new Horizon 2020 project SHAPE-ENERGY which the GSI are leading from Feb 2017 – Jan 2019. On top of her research projects she’ll carry on co-managing  ARU’s Part Time & Flexible Working staff forum. Dave remains at Northumbria leading the University’s ‘Digital Living’ Multidisciplinary Research Theme and coordinating a new community of Human-Computer Interaction Researchers (http://northlab.uk).

Do stay in touch! We’re always keen to know what Balance Network members are up to, and of course about any follow-up activities which may have been sparked in some way by the Network.

1.       January Balance Network Events
2.       Post-Event Reports from all Balance Network Activities
3.       Upcoming Events
4.       Calls for Papers
5.       Funding Opportunities

1. January Balance Network Events
In January, a number of final Balance Network linked events were run. Marta Cecchinato ran a set of final workshops for participants in her microboundaries study. After a successful first event in December, Carl Adams, Penny Hart, and Penny Ross, from the University of Portsmouth, ran a second event linked to the British Computer Society on Work-Life Balance in the IT Profession, this time in Southampton. And the Balance Network team were also delighted to organise a small workshop in Cambridge discussing the digital landscape and future (interdisciplinary) research directions across three of the UK research councils: EPSRC, ESRC (who are currently undertaking a major review of the area), and AHRC. Thank you to participants of all these events.

2. Post-Event Reports from all Balance Network Activities
This is just a ‘watch this space’ that post-event reports from all the Balance Network’s activities are currently being finalised, and should be available online in the next few weeks… we’ll update you when they are.

3. Upcoming Events
Work, life, social enterprise: where’s the boundary?: Wed 25th Jan, London
For the social entrepreneurs among you, a final reminder that Balance Network-linked event Work, life, social enterprise: where’s the boundary? is taking place this Wed 25th Jan in London. Social entrepreneurs interested in exploring the challenges and opportunities of digital technologies for their work-life balance should contact Gillian Symon for more information.

Organisations + Change: Fri 27th Jan, Cambridge
The Global Sustainability Institute, out of which the Balance Network is led, and Anglia Ruskin University’s Business School are running a joint seminar on themes related to the Balance Network, entitled Organisations + Change. There are three excellent speakers lined up – Dr Rebecca Whiting (Birkbeck, University of London, and BN sister project: Digital Brain Switch), Deniz Seebacher (University of Vienna) and Megan Meredith (Tavistock Centre). The event will look at the issues facing corporations: how do they approach change, and what impact does it all have on their employees and working towards sustainability? The panel discussion will run from 2-3:30pm and lunch will be available from 1:30pm (room LAB 109, ARU’s Cambridge campus). Details here.

CW Academic and Industry SIG: Thu 2nd Feb, Cambridge
Cambridge Wireless (CW) are refreshing their Academic and Industry Special Interest Group (SIG) to organise events that stimulate interactions between industry and academia in the fast-evolving and multi-faceted world of wireless technology. The next SIG meeting on 2nd February 2017 (in Cambridge), rather than having a technical focus, will aim to bring together academic and industry CW members in a workshop style event. The aim is to rebuild a consensus regarding what the SIG should offer in the future, i.e., to effectively “reboot” the SIG.  Visit their event page to register your interest.

Technology Justice – why it’s time to reboot our relationship with technology: Tue 7th Feb, Cambridge
The Centre for Global Equality’s Annual Lecture will be given by Simon Trace and is entitled “Technology Justice – why it’s time to reboot our relationship with technology”. The event will take place at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, at 7pm on Tuesday the 7th of February, and will be followed by a reception. If you would like to attend, sign up here on Eventbrite.

The Gold Standard of Reproducible Research – How to make it work: Thu 9th Mar, Nottingham
Nicole Janz of the University of Nottingham is hosting a conference with workshop sessions on 9th March 2017 from 09:00 – 17:30 on Notthingham’s University Park Campus. Reproducibility is held as the gold standard for scientific research. The legitimacy of any published work depends on the question: can we access the data, replicate the analysis and come to the same results? In many cases, we cannot. This conference discusses why authors are not sharing their work, how new initiatives across the social sciences are challenging the status quo, and what researchers can gain from sharing their data. More details, including the impressive array of confirmed speakers, are available on this Eventbrite page. For those external to the University of Nottingham please email Nicole to if you are interested in a place.

4. Calls for Papers
16th Annual STS Conference Graz, Session on Digitalized Industry and Social Emancipation: 8th-9th May, Austria
The Annual STS Conference Graz is taking place over 8th-9th May. This session aims to critically examine the emancipatory potential of the digital transformation. Organisers welcome papers that situate industrial production in larger social contexts. From this starting point, analysis can go to different directions, including: does the digitalization of industries have emancipatory potential for (a) industrial structures themselves or (b) non-industrial contexts? Or do (c) social transformations outside of industries open up possibilities for emancipation within them? Please send abstracts (max. 500 words) to David Seibt and Simon Schaupp by 19th Feb. The full call for abstracts can be found on this page.

Research Methods for Digital Work: Innovative Methods for Studying Distributed and Multi-modal Working Practices: 25th – 26th May, Guildford
Research Methods for Digital Work is calling for papers for its mini-conference at University of Surrey, Guildford over 25th-26th May. Keynote speakers are Diane E. Bailey (Associate Professor in School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin); Monika Büscher (Professor of Sociology, Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research and Associate Director for the Institute for Social Futures at Lancaster University); and Richard Rogers (Professor in New Media and Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam). Contributions that present innovative methods for the study of working practices – particularly those that present the method in the context of successful use within a research project – are invited. The full call for papers is available here, deadline 31st Jan.  Participation will be limited to 50 attendees. Registration fees are £60 (£40 for students/unwaged).

22nd EURAS Annual Standardisation Conference: 28th– 30th Jun, Berlin
This year’s EURAS conference topic is Digitalisation: Challenge and Opportunity for Standardisation. The progressing digitalisation will have disruptive impacts on both the economy and society – speed and complexity of technological change will increase dramatically. These developments will challenge existing institutional frameworks including regulations and standardisation, which will have to be continuously adapted. Moreover, digitalisation drives the convergence of different technologies and even sectors and thus increases the need for new interfaces at various levels. As a result, more standards will be needed, especially at the international level. In addition, the increasing relevance of data protection and security will require an even better co-ordination between standardisation and regulation, which also faces problems of transnational harmonisation. Full papers (up to 30 double spaced pages; rtf. .doc or .docx format) should be submitted by 21st Feb to Kai Jakobs.

5. Funding Opportunities
Big data MSc and PhD studentships 
Three studentships (fees + stipend) are available from the Consumer Research Data Centre, a collaboration across the universities of Leeds, UCL, Liverpool and Oxford, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. They will be based in UCL’s department of Geography and will be in collaboration withBoots, the Local Data Company (LDC) and Transport for West Midlands, commencing September 2017. These awards are open to applicants with backgrounds in quantitative social science and related disciplines, such as geography, social statistics, political science, economics, applied mathematics, planning or sociology. The closing date is 3rd Feb 2017. For more details see the CDRD website.

As always, please do circulate this notice to relevant contacts and networks. Now that the Balance Network’s EPSRC funding is coming to an end we’ll be sending bulletins less frequently, but If you’d like us to include an item in the bulletin and on our website, email a title and short description to rosie.robison@anglia.ac.uk. To join the Balance Network mailing list, send your name and organisation to rosie.robison@anglia.ac.uk. You can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time.