44 episodes

Discussions about the role of media in sustainable and participative communities, providing an alternative to mass media. We look at how we build our capabilities to tell our own stories and think about the importance of what we become in producing and sharing our own media content. As we face the challenges of a rapidly decentralising society, in which the creation of social value is spread more widely, we need to prepare for a time when institutions will be less central to public discussion because trust will be circulated and distributed using blockchain technologies and systems. What will this new decentered media environment feel like, and how should we prepare for it?

Leicester Stories Leicester Stories

    • Society & Culture

Discussions about the role of media in sustainable and participative communities, providing an alternative to mass media. We look at how we build our capabilities to tell our own stories and think about the importance of what we become in producing and sharing our own media content. As we face the challenges of a rapidly decentralising society, in which the creation of social value is spread more widely, we need to prepare for a time when institutions will be less central to public discussion because trust will be circulated and distributed using blockchain technologies and systems. What will this new decentered media environment feel like, and how should we prepare for it?

    Leicester Sound Postcards - Telling Stories Using Sound

    Leicester Sound Postcards - Telling Stories Using Sound

    At the November Saturday Heritage Fair, Dimple Patel from Luminous Productions shared her experience creating the Leicester Sound Postcards. Using sounds and testimony, Parveenben’s Shop is the “story of one woman’s love for the craft of sewing, and the empowerment this skill brought her and her mother.” Dimple explained how telling these stories of businesses that went from tiny living rooms in terraced houses, into a thriving South Asian clothing business in Highfields, is an inspiring account of people’s experience arriving and becoming part of the communities of Leicester.

    • 9 min
    Leicester Smart City Discussion - Community Reporting Toolkit

    Leicester Smart City Discussion - Community Reporting Toolkit

    On the 22nd of June, Professor Edward Cartwright and Rob Watson of Decentered Media, hosted a workshop: “Empowering Communities: How to Design a Smart City that Works for All,” at De Montfort University in Leicester. Facilitated by Dr Swati Virmani and Dr Ruben Martinez Cardenas, the event was an exploration into the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in smart city development and the paramount necessity for the inclusion of diverse voices in the consultation, engagement, and development process.

    The workshop underscored the breathtaking speed of urban life and information systems conjoining, underlining the role of data and its manipulation in the design of the smart city. With the integration of systems and data reshaping how we interact, there is an undeniable allure in the potential of AI and integrated network systems. But the workshop emphasised the importance of ensuring these advancements are inclusive, considering the diverse needs and perspectives of the communities they serve.

    Why is engagement so important in smart city design? The workshop stressed that engagement is a cornerstone of effective smart city design. Involving a wide range of voices, including marginalised communities and local organisations in decision-making processes, is crucial to ensure that smart city initiatives address real challenges and needs.

    However, engaging diverse voices in smart city design isn’t without its obstacles. Challenges include the lack of representation and inclusion, especially for marginalised groups, overcoming language barriers, accessibility issues, ensuring equal participation, and the necessity of thoughtful planning, resources, and commitment from all involved parties. It’s essential to address the digital divide that separates people and potentially forces them to use technologies they have no concern for, and ensure communities have the necessary digital literacy, skills, and access to participate meaningfully in smart city initiatives.

    The workshop, recorded as a podcast, captured a range of public views, expressing different concerns about AI and smart cities. These ranged from ecological challenges, fears of government authoritarianism, a lack of trust in the media, to worries about the replacement of people with automated tools that don’t understand the human condition.

    The workshop highlighted the Community Reporter Model as a potent tool for engaging diverse voices in smart city design. This model, involving the recruitment and training of community reporters who act as intermediaries between the community and decision-makers, fosters dialogue and empowers communities in the design process. Community reporters organise interactive events to encourage the exchange of ideas and co-creation of solutions, disseminate information via community media platforms, and assess the impact of community reporting initiatives.

    The community reporter model provides a platform for diverse perspectives to be heard, making decision-making processes more inclusive and representative. It also engenders a sense of empowerment and ownership within the community, as they actively participate in shaping their smart city future.

    The discussions in the workshop highlighted the imperative for AI and smart city technologies to serve the needs of the community. Involving community members in media platforms creates spaces for dialogue, information sharing, and feedback that are accessible to all. This ensures the design and implementation of smart city technologies are driven by the real needs and aspirations of the community. Moreover, community participation in the media promotes transparency, accountability, and critical thinking, which are essential for responsible and ethical smart city innovation.

    The workshop was a meaningful exploration of how AI could be harnessed to create sustainable, people-centric smart cities,

    • 48 min
    Evington Echo Celebrates 300 Editions

    Evington Echo Celebrates 300 Editions

    The Evington Echo is celebrating three hundred editions with an exhibition of past copies at the Documentary Media Centre in Leicester. The editor, Helen Pettmen, explains how the Echo came about and what stories have been covered. It’s thanks to the volunteers who write, produce and distribute the Evington Echo that this milestone has been reached, and here’s looking forward to the next milestone.

    • 14 min
    Leicestershire Cares - Power to Change Netowrk

    Leicestershire Cares - Power to Change Netowrk

    It was lovely to catch up with supporters of the Leicestershire Cares Power to Change network on Friday, and take part in discussions about how voluntary and community organisations can make a positive contribution to the future of Leicester as a place to live with high levels of civic engagement and a good quality of life for everyone. We chatted with a couple of people about their challenges of 2022 and what they are looking forward to achieving in 2023.

    • 7 min
    Beta-X Wrap-Up

    Beta-X Wrap-Up

    Just before Christmas Beta-X held its wrap-up. After ten months it was time to say thanks to everyone who aupported the project, and who had exhibited and run workshops. We spoke with people about what Beta-X meant to them, and how Leicester might support design and creative practice hubs in the future.

    • 35 min
    Leicester Smart City - Wrap-Up Discussion

    Leicester Smart City - Wrap-Up Discussion

    The Leicester Smart City project had a wrap-up discussion, so we could reflect on the process of gathering and sharing stories, and think about how community reporting is an effective model for public engagement for sharing and developing greater understanding for public awareness of research.

    We captured a wide range of discussions from our reporters, ZamZam, Madina and Amrin, who along with Bindu had shared their reflections and observations. We’ve put them together as a podcast, so we can listen again to the questions and observations that participants contributed to the deliberation.

    This project is supported by The Alan Turing Institute, whose mission is to promote the understanding of the ethical and social issues arising from the use of data science and artificial intelligence. Professor Edward Cartwright of De Montfort University is leading the project, along with colleagues Dr Swati Virmani and Dr Ruben Martinez Cardenas of the Leicester Castle Business School.



     

     

     

     

     

     

    • 14 min

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