DataGM: Curating an Environment for Change

Drew Hemment, Kevin Smith, Julian Tait, Anna Dornan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Open Data Cities is an ongoing investigation into how a city may move towards adopting, in specific terms, an open data framework, and, in general terms, openness. It is an experiment in participatory policy and infrastructure, and in curating an environment for change. Uniquely, our focus is on the entire ecosystem at once, and developing an ecology around open data to create sustainable impact. One dimension of this infrastructure is DataGM which, as an output of the Open Data Cities research, and artefact or ‘Open Digital Resource’, is the focus of this paper. DataGM used a process of participatory policy and action learning in the Greater Manchester city region. We engaged policy makers from 10 local authorities, data managers from agencies including Transport for Greater Manchester, digital businesses, and supported a grass-roots developer community. Our development approach drew significantly on Actor Network Theory (ANT). According to ANT, the on–going processes of “translation” are key sources of social order. “Translation” generates ordering effects, such as organisations, institutions, devices, and agents. Each of these have their own “resistances”, and social change, as evidenced by Data GM, is very much about a struggle of reorganising the resources and relations in the ‘actor–network’. This paper presents an analysis of the practical application of this theory to our problem domain and, reflecting on our experience, makes recommendations for participatory policy and infrastructure intervention at a city scale.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings Participatory Innovation Conference
EditorsHelinä Melkas, Jacob Buur
PublisherLappeenranta University of Technology
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)978-952-265-391-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


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