From June 3rd to Jun 5th, a series of events organized by the Big Social Data Research Group at King’s College in collaboration with Citizen Biomedicin Research Group and the Open Data Institute, engaged AOS in a workshop, a lecture and a public talk.
Below a report from the three events.
1. June 3rd: “Playing with data in the Ubiquitous Commons” – workshop
A one-day hands-on workshop hosted by the Big Social Data Research Group at King’s College.
During the morning session we introduced and explored with participants a series of key concepts, in particular:
- the conceptual frame of the Human Ecosystems project, describing how multiple types of public data coming from social networks, sensors, open data sources, energy use, census and more can be captured, processed using multiple techniques (from Natural Language Processing, to Machine Learning, Network Analysis, Emotional Analysis and Geographic Analysis) to produce a set of large Data Commons, which can be used for multiple purposes including research, policy making, citizen action, collaboration, participatory and peer-to-peer organizational models, development of novel forms of economies, creation of services, artworks, designs, information visualizations, interactive experiences, digital toys, data-reactive devices and more;
- the concept of the Relational Ecosystem, describing how these massive data capturing techniques can lead to forming large linked data patterns which, in turn, lead to the possibility to understand how communities form and transform over time and place, by understanding information, knowledge, opinion, emotion and behavior flows in cities. We also focused on the many characteristics of these human networks and of their participants, including their characterization as influencers, experts, hubs, bridges among different communities, and the ways in which to create new characterizations, using network science;
- the many implications of these practices, at levels which are social, political, economic, exploring the resulting modifications of the factual and perceived concepts of public, private and intimate spheres, and the further transformations to citizens’ awareness and action which could be brought on by the availability of such a large Data Commons, and of the tools to use it, of the related education processes, of the information visualizations and on the participatory practices which could develop.
During the afternoon session:
- a series of tools from the Human Ecosystems platform was installed, giving participants the possibility to autonomously start their own data harvesting processes;
- a complete social network harvesting process for the city of London was started. The group watched the results using a variety of information visualizations which are present in the current HE toolkits (geographic, relational, networked, time-based, artistic, and more). We explored the principal steps which are required to create new ones (the structure of the data sources in the commons produced through Human Ecosystems, the many tools, libraries and Human Ecosystems API calls which can be used for this purpose).
- we finally focused on some of the participants’ projects and activities to suggest ways in which the Human Ecosystems could be used in their cases, also establishing a number of possible partnerships and opportunities which need to be explored further.
2. June 4th: “La Cura, an Open Source Cure for Cancer” – lecture and conversation
A 2 hours lecture hosted by the Citizen Biomedicine Research Group which involved us and the participant in deep and stimulating conversation exploring:
- The unfolding of the facts and implications of “La Cura”, from the events which led to its beginning, its artistic elements, the metaphors of data as a connecting tissue for society, the biopolitical aspects of data and Big Data, the social interaction, collaboration and participation aspects of La Cura, the media and communication aspects of the project;
- The rituals of hacking (understanding systems, generating knowledge, making knowledge available, provoke unexpected usages) and their implications on medicine;
- The rituals of re-appropriation of data, an the consequent transition from data-subject to the holistic interpretation of human being, in which data becomes an opportunity for interconnection, interaction and participation of the entire society;
- The role of arts, design, creativity and transgression, as radical innovators, as creators of new, unexpected spaces for social construction of conscience, as multipliers of perceived possible futures, and as tools to explore desirable, preferrable futures;
- The comparison of “La Cura” to other experiences (like, for example, cancer bloggers, cancer and social networks) and services (like “Patients Like Me”).
Among the results, the conversation collaboratively described a tentative scenario in which experiences like “La Cura” and more encoded, industrialized ones like “Patients Like Me” could come together and co-exist according to an ecosystemic approach to suggest new scenarios for the collaborative and participative production of science, social and political actions, economies, activism, and peer-to-peer operative models.
3. 5th June: “Ubiquitous Commons” – public talk
Hosted by the ODI – Open Data Institute, the talk involved a very diverse audience, including hackers, lawyers, organizations, enterprises, developers, architects, urban planners, Internet of Things enthusiasts and experts.
During the discussion we:
- Explored the scenario leading to the creation of the Ubiquitous Commons: conscious/unconscious ubiquitousproduction of data; impossibility to understand what data we generate, and how it is used; impossibility to express ho we want our data to be used; impossibility to track how our data is used; impossibility to autonomously or collaboratively enact individual or participatory practices for data generation and usage, in inclusive ways;
- Explored the Ubiquitous Commons architecture: externalize data access mechanism from operators (social networks, IoT, domotics, biotech, wearables…) onto a peer-to-peer environment (Blockchain), using encryption and a legal/technological protocol;
- Explored the possibility to create data commons using the Ubiquitous Commons identity model (individual, collective, anonymous, nomadic and temporary types of identity);
- Explored the legal, political, social, economic, creative implications of the model.
- Discussed possible usage scenarios and novel economic models.
- Discussed technical/technological implications;
- Expressed a call to action for interested parties to join the initiative (legal, technical/technological, use cases, adoption communties).
Special thanks to Mark Coté, Tobias Blanke, Barbara Prainsack, Lorenzo Del Savio, Jennifer, Giles Greenway for the wonderful hospitality and to make all of it happen.