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Creative Citizens come together

19 August 2014

Creative Citizens come together

A Cardiff-led research team is gearing up to deliver the UK's first conference on Creative Citizenship.

The conference is the culmination of a 30-month multidisciplinary research project; 'Media, Community and the Creative Citizen' led by Ian Hargreaves, Professor of Digital Economy at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

Creative citizenship is the everyday engagement and participation of groups and individuals using creative resources. The research has explored how three types of creative citizenship add value to communities: hyperlocal news publishing; community-led design and creative networks.

The research teams will report their initial findings to the conference, which will also feature keynote addresses from Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of innovation charity Nesta and Paola Antonelli, Curator for Architecture and Design at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

The event takes place at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London on September 18 and 19 to coincide with London Design Week. There will be workshops, policy debates and, in partnership with the University's Centre for Community Journalism, a series of discussions and workshops in a pop-up news café. The conference will also host a lively exhibition of works at the RCA made by and with community partners.

"So far as we know this is the first time the banner of the Creative Citizen has been raised at a major event in the UK. Our aim is to identify highly practical ways in which creative citizens and their communities can use contemporary media to strengthen their work and increase their impact," said Professor Hargreaves.

"Creative citizenship forms the bedrock of the UK's creative economy, which we know accounts for 2.5 million jobs. Creative citizens also make a huge contribution to the social and cultural wellbeing of the places in which they express themselves."

Over a hundred academics, community activists and policy-makers will take part in the conference, which will feature papers on the very diverse concerns of creative citizens; including history, energy, food banks, gardening, resistance, games, citizen science, making, food, film, broadcasting, housing and political activism. There will also be a front-line political debate, inviting the UK's main political parties to consider the relevance of creative citizenship for their manifestos in next year's general election.

The research project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under the Connected Communities cross-Council Research Programme. It also forms part of the Digital Economy Programme.

Full details of the conference and registration are available at