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Lego Serious Play workshop in Leeds / Age Friendly Smart City

New Digital Literacies for a Smart City

From harnessing the power of wearables to participating in the sharing economy, we’ve running a series of innovative community workshops to explore new digital literacies for an Age Friendly Smart City.

We’ve had quite an eventful year running the Age Friendly Smart City project in Leeds. As part of this programme we’ve held three Innovation Labs and two of our hardware prototypes, co-produced by older residents and technologists, have just been put through a round of usability workshops. In keeping with our philosophy of using the city as a lab, these prototypes will soon be evaluated in community pilots.

We also regularly run workshops where we invite experts to explore important issues with the community. The recent Re-Designing Death session conducted by Berlin-based innovation consultant Cori Moore highlighted the importance of engaging the entire community, not just older residents, to shape an Age Friendly Smart City. This insight is the foundation of the next round of community workshops.

In these sessions we will explore new digital literacies that are essential for navigating a technology saturated environment. Each session is designed for the entire community and will include group activities.

Session 1: The Sharing Economy is for Everyone

Is the Sharing Economy just the latest in a long line of buzzwords or can it be used to shine a spotlight on vital skills that are often invisible in the local community?

Emma Bearman (Chief of Play at Cultivate) produces projects that help communities define new relationships using collaborative technologies and social media. Her recent initiatives include the year-long March of the Robots, which celebrated our fascination with robot culture.

In keeping with the playful, interrogative nature of her projects, Emma has designed a workshop with embraces elements of maker culture and craftivism. The process begins with a social experiment in which Emma will source materials for a maker workshop via social media. On the day, participants will work in groups to craft everyday, useful objects from these materials, which will be made available on Folksy.

Through this workshop Emma wants to start a process of making visible the invisible gifts and skills we all have. The session is open to people of all ages. Emma will share regular updates about the crowdsourcing of materials on Twitter. Click here to get in touch with her and make a contribution.

Click here to book a free place at this session.

Session 2: Create Your Own Wearable Device

As digital devices establish personal, intimate and responsive relationships with their users, it is time we stopped limiting digital literacy to the operational understanding of tablets, computers and mobile devices. This workshop will demystify wearables and help participants understand how they operate.

Artist Sarah Gillett (Royal College of Art) has collaborated with game designers Wetgenes to create a remarkable workshop where participants will make wearables from scratch. Working in groups, they will build a terrarium with a unique micro-environment. Each terrarium will be fitted with a RaspberryPi and a grid of LED lights. The Pi and LEDs form a wearable that will be programmed to control ambient light and influence the environment inside the terrarium.

Sarah, former Head of Digital for British Council (Arts) wants participants to explore concepts such as well-being and social isolation in the context of technology. What do we measure and why? And what is our relationship with the device that we (in)voluntarily attach to ourselves? Wetgenes (who are best known for their pixel art software Swanky Paint) have designed the activities that will enable participants to handle sensors and explore algorithms, which are the basis of any wearable device.

Click here to book a free place at this session.

Session 3: Social Media and The Art of Conversation

Is conversation really a lost art? Can it bridge the digital divide by pairing older residents with younger YouTubers?

From running digital storytelling projects across the UK to mobilising communities in rural areas to secure better broadband provision, John Popham is determined to bridge the digital divide.

Inspired by the television show OAP Internet Virgins on Sky1, John wants to re-imagine the art of conversation in a one day workshop where older residents will be paired with YouTubers. These conversations will be recorded and shared online.

If you are a Leeds based YouTuber and want to take part, please click here to get in touch with John via Twitter.

Click here to book a free place at this session

These workshops are being organised with help from our friends at Leeds City Council. We will be adding more events to the programme. Booking information will be made available soon. If you have any questions please get in touch with agefriendly@leeds.gov.uk or via Twitter @AgeFriendlyLDS

Written by

I am interested in the context & values of our Digital Identities.

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