September 2016 Bulletin: Selected News Stories

13 September 2016

We’re pleased to start announcing the final EPSRC-funded series of Balance Network activities, which will be happening over the next few months, with a lot going on in December. We’re very much looking forward to the exciting range on offer. Take a look to see if there are activities you would like to attend.

  1. Autumn/Winter 2016 Balance Network Activities
  2. Beyond Balance – audio/slides/videos available
  3. News 
  4. Upcoming Events
  5. Funding Opportunities

1. Autumn/winter 2016 Balance Network Activities
The Role of Microboundaries for Work-Life Balance, individual diary studies & intervention workshops.
Marta E. Cecchinato, PhD student, and Dr Anna L. Cox of UCL have received funding to gain insight into the use of “microboundaries” by knowledge workers who are experiencing work-life balance challenges. Microboundaries limit the negative effects of work-life cross-overs, such as the interrupting effect of notifications at inopportune moments.  The diary studies will be organized in September and October with the Intervention workshops in November and December.  For more information, contact Marta.

Three Cafés: Experiential Artistic Research Exploring Inter-Relationships Between Digital Technology and Well-being.
Anglia Ruskin University’s Marina Velez, Davide Natalini, and Debby Lauder are leading a trio of experimental interventions, designed to open up discursive spaces for interactive and experiential research as to how digital technology increasingly serves to shape our perception, determine our communication, frame our identity, inform our self-awareness and underpin our social interactions. The three events will be Refusal of technology, Embracing technology and Discussion and Co-production; they will be held between October and November 2016, dates to be confirmed. For more information contact Marina.

Work-Life Balance Within The IT Profession, seminar with the British Computer Society, early December, Portsmouth.
Dr Penny Hart, Dr Penny Ross and Dr Carl Adams of the School of Computing at University of Portsmouth received funding to attend the World IT project committee meeting in August.  The team will be analysing the project’s extensive survey of IT professionals, which captured cultural and contextual differences across the technology workforce, from a work-life balance perspective.  They will be running a Balance Network seminar co-hosted by the British Computer Society (BCS) in early December. For more information, contact Penny H.

Conversation Pieces, series of December design workshops, London.
Paulina Yurman, a PhD Student in Goldsmiths Design Department, will be hosting a series of two hour workshops in early December.  At each event, novel design proposals will be presented to participants, as semi-working artefacts or as images. The proposals will revolve around the tensions and ambivalences brought by digital devices in families with young children, as they blur the boundaries between work and play. For more information, contact Paulina.

Managing Technology Around Work and Life: Design Challenges, design workshop, mid-Dec, Sheffield.
Dr Luigina Ciolfi and Dr Eleanor Lockley of The Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University will design and lead research and networking activities regarding various strategies of technology appropriation that individuals implement to handle work and life demands.  These activities will include a series of interviews followed by a design workshop on December 13 or 14 in Sheffield, where participants will help create technology to support their work and home lives.  After the New Year, Luigina hopes to spearhead an interest group on work-life technology design. For more information, contact Luigina.

Balancing Work and Military Spouse Life in the Digital Age, workshop in Liverpool.
Dr Lisa Wood of Lancaster Medical School at Lancaster University, will lead a one-day workshop in collaboration with Tracy Hauver, a student at University of Liverpool. The workshop will explore opportunities and barriers in socio-digital support for military spouses and families. The hypermobility of this group provides a valuable site for exploration of new patterns of working and family life, the impacts of hyper mobility and the everyday use of digital technologies in family life.  During the workshop, participants will discussion possible digital futures and help generate priorities for future research.  After the New Year, Lisa and Tracy will continue the project with on-line focus groups. For more information, contact Lisa.

Digital Scholars in a Mobile World, one-day research symposium exploring work-life balance in academic lifeworlds.
This symposium in early December, led by Josef Ploner & Anastasia Gouseti of the University of Hull, will gather UK-based early career academics from across the disciplines, working in the areas of higher education research, academic mobility and new/digital technologies within professional contexts. At the event, participants will share current and ongoing research into work-life balance within academic contexts and begin to build a collaborative network in view of future research activities. For more information, contact Josef.

Crafting Enchanted Objects to Motivate Micro-Breaks and Health Behaviour Change in Office Work, a half day stakeholder workshop, Nottingham.
Yitong Huang, a PhD student from the Horizon CDT, will host a half-day workshop to engage stakeholders of work health in co-designing novel behaviour change interventions, delivered with smart office objects that are digitally augmented with sensing and computing capabilities and connected to each. She will introduce accessible tools for intervention development and rough prototyping techniques (e.g. ideation card, sketches, plug-and-play sensors) to facilitate collaborative thinking and exchange of multidisciplinary perspectives to this issue. For more information, contact Yitong.

2. Beyond Balance – audio/slides/videos available
Recordings of Claire Fox’s keynote and audio from the main lecture theatre are now available on myplayer! Video, audio and slides from Claire Fox’s keynote. Audio and slides, including Q&A, from the sessions in the Kelvin Lecture Theatre:

3. News 

Prof Geraldine Fitzpatrick of Vienna University of Technology is creating a series of podcasts called Changing Academic Life. The podcasts feature interviews of HCI researchers about their current career path and how they balance work with non-work aspects of their life.

Concerns have been raised by economists and tech experts that automation advances in robotics and computing may lead to job losses occurring faster than job creation. A briefing is available from the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology that outlines applications of automation technologies and their potential implications for the workforce.

A new article “Digital turn, digital geographies?” authored by James Ash, Rob Kitchin and Agnieszka Leszczynski, is available in Human Geography. The article offers possible paths forward for the ‘digital turn’ across geography’s many sub-disciplines.

On a related note, members may be interested in the new Digital Geographies Working Group of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers, being led by Prof Dorothea Kleine (University of Sheffield), Prof Gillian Rose (The Open University) and Dr Phil Jones (Birmingham University), and open to interested researchers at any career stage.  Send your email address to  to ask to be put on the mailing list.

4. Upcoming Events
National Work-Life Week 2016 is coming up from 3rd –7th October. Working Families hope that employers use the week to provide activities for staff, and to promote flexible working.

5. Funding Opportunities 
The EPSRC is inviting applications on tackling global development challenges through engineering and digital technology research. The budget can fund approximately 20 projects for a duration of 36 months, and equipment worth up to £10,000 and research overseas (such as consumables and fieldwork) may be requested. Closing date is November 15.

The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) offers a Young Scholar Prize open to students, graduate students, or postdoctoral researchers who have contributed in a significant way to scholarship at a humanities conference using digital technology. One or two conferences are selected for the prizes of a given year and then winners are selected within the contributors to the conferences.
 Applications must be received by 1 October 2016. The award includes €500 for travel, lodging and conference registration and up to €250 (one prize) or €500 (two prizes) for a reception.

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’