October 2016 Bulletin: Selected News Stories

13 October 2016

We’re pleased to provide more details on the final EPSRC-funded series of nine Balance Network activities, which will be happening over the next few months. See below and the attached flyer for a summary of current details. Please contact the organisers of any activities you would like to attend, or express interest in their activities, and note that we have travel bursaries available (details below).

  1. Autumn/Winter 2016 Balance Network Activities
  2. Travel bursaries to BN events
  3. Call for evidence on ICT skills and online platforms for social inclusion
  4. Invitation for Part Time and Flexible Working networks
  5. News
  6. Funding Opportunities

1. Autumn/Winter 2016 Balance Network Activities
See the webpage for the latest details, or download the flyer at the bottom of the page. Feel free to disseminate!

  • ICT SKILLS AND ONLINE PLATFORMS FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION, workshop and evidence-based paper, 28 November, Coventr
  • THE ROLE OF MICROBOUNDARIES FOR WORK-LIFE BALANCE, individual diary studies & intervention workshops, workshops: 1, 3 & 5 December, London,
  • WORK-LIFE BALANCE WITHIN THE IT PROFESSION, half-day seminar, 7 Dec afternoon, Portsmouth
  • DIGITAL SCHOLARS IN A MOBILE WORLD, one-day research symposium, 14 Dec, Hull
  • CONVERSATION PIECES, three, two-hour workshops, week of 12 Dec, London
  • BALANCING WORK AND MILITARY SPOUSE LIFE IN THE DIGITAL AGE, workshop, week of Dec 19, Northamptonshire

2. Travel bursaries to BN events
We have a number of travel bursaries (less than £100) available for attendance of the above events, in return for a short summary of your experience and ‘take-home messages’ for publication on our website. To apply, send your name, position and organisation, along with a brief statement of what you would hope to get out of the event, and amount requested to Stephanie. If your institution is able to provide some degree of match-funding, please include details. We aim to review requests each Tuesday and reply by Friday.

3. Call for evidence on ICT skills and online platforms for social inclusion
As part of the ICT skills and online platforms for social inclusions activity described above, Sally-Anne Barnes at the University of Warwick and colleagues are inviting evidence to inform their review on ICT skills and online platforms for social inclusion, with particular reference to paid work, volunteering and local community-based activities. This will also be discussed at the roundtable event on 28 November at the University of Warwick. There is recognition that ICT skills play a crucial role in accessing services and employment, and facilitating social inclusion. They are collecting evidence on:

  1. ICT education and skills development to enable confident digital participation throughout the life course (with a particular emphasis on those in later life) –  especially provided by community organisations, the voluntary sector, local government/councils and businesses.
  2. The role of science and technology in facilitating and widening inclusion for labour market participation (as applicable) and social interaction.
  3. The role of socio technical systems and online platforms in providing opportunities for a better work-life balance in terms of new modes of working (paid and unpaid), new types of community engagement and social interaction

If you would like to contribute evidence or attend the roundtable, please email Sally-Anne.

4. Invitation for Part Time and Flexible Working networks
Rosie Robison, PI on the Balance Network, has recently co-founded a staff forum at Anglia Ruskin University focused on part-time and flexible workers. We are planning a special event for the forum in the coming months, and are keen to know of any other similar groups which might exist across UK universities (or other organisations) who may be interested in attending. To get in touch about this, please contact Rosie.

5. News
The Busyness Paradox
Oliver Burkeman, one of the keynotes at our Beyond Balance conference, talks about how “busy” we all are in this recent series on the BBC: “There’s a ritual of the modern workplace – one you’ve heard and most likely indulged in yourself. It’s the call and response we go through when you ask a workmate how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “mentally busy.” It is pretty obviously a boast disguised as a complaint. And our simultaneously grim and half chuckled reply comes as a kind of congratulation: “Ha, better than the opposite.” When did we start doing that?”

Tech & Work Life Balance Conference: Friday December 16, 2016
Understanding how issues such as information overload, and constant connectivity affect the quality of our work-life balance is essential for the health, wellbeing and professional performance of modern day information workers. The Tech & Work Life Event, which takes place online, brings together speakers to share tools, best practices, the latest research and the most innovative techniques for workers, team leaders and department heads seeking the best ways to improve the performance and wellbeing of their work lives. For more information, contact Lawrence Ampofo.

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.

5. Funding Opportunities
Telling Tales of Engagement Competition 2016
The RCUK Digital Economy (DE) Theme is running this competition designed to help capture and promote the impact that your digital economy research is having. Three prizes of £10,000 are available to support researchers to further tell the story of research impact in an interesting and engaging way to a wider audience. Deadline 1 December, 12:00.

Future Photonics Hub Innovation Fund 2016
The EPSRC-funded Future Photonics Hub has an ‘Innovation Fund‘ available to enable the inclusion of academic partners who bring additional value to the Hub’s research programme. The first call for applications for this funding is now open. Deadline 7 November, 17:00.

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 stephanie.cziczo ‘at’ anglia.ac.uk.