Opening presentation Connected Communities Cardiff Gary Grubb September 2011
Welcome to the Connected Communities ProgrammeCommunities, Cultures, Health & Well-Being Research Development Workshop
Connected Communities ProgrammeCommunities, Cultures, Health & Well-Being Research Development Workshop 19-21 September 2011, The Angel Hotel, Cardiff, Wales Gary Grubb, Associate Director of Programmes, AHRC G.Grubb@AHRC.ac.uk www.connectedcommunities.ac.uk
Connected Communities Programme:Connecting Research for Flourishing Communities Evolving Programme Vision To mobilise the potential for increasingly inter-connected, culturally diverse, communities to enhance participation, prosperity, sustainability, health & well-being by better connecting research, stakeholders and communities.
What do we mean by Community?Evolving approach but see communities as: “dynamic processes through which groups come together, through choice or necessity, to share some common bonds or values or to co- operate and interact over a sustained period of time in pursuit of a collective need or interest in particular issues or outcomes. Communities may be real or imagined, may share a virtual or physical environment and/or may share aspects of identity (such as location, race, ethnicity, age, history, practice), culture, belief or other common bonds, connections or interests but may also transform over time, be culturally diverse and involve significant dissent and conflict”.
What do we mean by Community?• Importance of temporal as well as spatial dimensions• Recognise that there are many forms of community e.g. ascribed, elective, imagined, transient, etc• Consider both the positive and negative aspects• Interested both in the relationships within communities and the interactions between communities (past and present) and their outcomes for broader society and economy.• Applicants expected to explain the ways in which they are using the term community and thinking about issues of connectedness and to justify why this is appropriate for their proposed research
Why Connected? – Research IssuesCurrently, in terms of the research:• Improve understanding of both the changing connections between individuals & groups within communities & the connections between different communities and their implications for future society.• Examine the connections between communities and their broader cultures, histories, beliefs and environments (including spaces, places and institutions) and how this can help inform future community- based approaches.• Explore connections between research issues often considered in isolation to deliver more integrated understanding of the roles of, and impacts on, communities.
A Connected Approach • Connect UK and international research. • Connect researchers, organisations and communities in the co- production of knowledge and knowledge exchange. • Connect research funders to enhance co-ordination and alignment of activities and promote partnerships and collaboration to maximise added value from the currently highly fragmented research field and address strategic gaps
A Connected Approach Currently, in terms of how the programme will add value: • Connect previous research (synthesis, review, etc) • Connect researchers, knowledge, approaches and data from across disciplines to deliver more integrated understanding and promote cross- disciplinary research • Connect to RCUK Programmes (e.g. Digital Economy, Lifelong Health & Well-being, LWEC, Global Uncertainties, Energy)
Addressing Cross-Cutting Themes: Understanding Changing Connectivity & Communities Some fundamental cross-cutting questions & issues: • What are communities for in modern societies? How have community values & identities changed over time? How do they contribute to quality of life? What do flourishing communities look like? What can we learn from history & different cultures? • Changing connections within and between communities. Inter-relationships, identities, rituals, narratives and networks. Ties to traditions, institutions & places. Trans-national communities. • Understanding communities as dynamic & complex cultural systems • Factors shaping changing communities – interfaces between technological, environmental, social, cultural & economic factors
Programme Themes & Activities Understanding Changing Community Cultures and Histories & Patterns of Connectivity within & between Communities Current Reviews & 2011 Summit Community Sustainable Community Community Community creativity community cultures, values, health and prosperity & environments, diversity,participation, well-being regeneration places and cohesion, self-reliance Creative spaces exclusion &and resilience Workshop & economy Possible conflict ESRC/ AHRC Follow-up workshop & workshop & UK/US joint call 2011 follow-up Follow-up workshop 2011 2010 2012? 2011 Connecting Research on Communities Summit 2011 Connecting Research with Communities & other Organisations, Stimulating Research Partnerships and Enhanced Harvesting of Research for Impact Partnership Activities & Summit 2011
Programme Cultural ChangeThemes Connecting Research with Communities and other organisations Environmental ChangeOverview Co-production Harvesting for Impact Partnership Changing Co-design Identities Civility Health Language & Beliefs Customs Power Narrative Communication Democratic Renewal Virtual Communities Community values, Volunteering participation, Heritage Community Arts self-reliance & resilience Sustainable Cultural Conflict community Institutions Understanding environments, Design Social Innovation Changing places Mobility Community Community Cultures, Summit 2011 Follow-Up Funding & spaces Beauty cultures, Histories & Patterns of 1. Small Follow-up Grantsgg Networks Adaptation diversity, cohesion Connectivity within & Youth exclusion & between Communities Community Entrepreneurship creativity Diasporas conflict prosperity & Creative Voice Community Community regeneration Crime Economies health and Gang Culture well-being ClustersPolitical AgeingChange Belonging Loneliness & Community Care Communities isolation Mental HealthSocial Change Cross-disciplinary International Innovation Economic Change Globalisation Collaborations Connecting Research on Communities Technological Change
Key Features of Connected Communities Projects Some ideas from the Summit in June 2010High quality research as a given, but also:• Sustainable engagement with real communities from the outset to beyond project life; communities involved in identifying challenges and possible solutions; partnership working; innovative approaches to co-production.• Ideas of connectedness and disconnectedness, fluidity of complex relationships between individuals, within communities and between communities; both positive and negative dimensions of ‘connectedness’.• Prepared to consider complex underlying issues and questions such as ethics, power, rights, equity, nature of benefits and burdens, sustainability, well-being.
Key Features of Connected Communities Projects Some ideas from the Summit in June 2010• Grounded in deep understanding of communities as diverse & complex cultural phenomena but seeking to draw wider transferable or generalisable insights.• Draws together insights from different research approaches /different disciplines/ different research & policy domains.• Crucial role of comparative and historical dimensions.• Develops novel approaches to long-standing challenges or understanding new cultural phenomena.• Focus on communities (variably defined) as the prime unit of analysis but not forgetting the ‘bigger picture’.
Key Features of Connected Communities ProjectsSome ideas from the Summit in June 2010• Relevant to strengthening well-being in communities and to policy & practice.• Builds on past research, understanding and current evidence base, ‘not reinventing the wheel’ but developing transformative approaches.• Focus on change and processes of change; forward looking but informed by the past.• Explores creative approaches – looking at ‘what could be’ as well as ‘what is’.
Key Features of Programme Projects Some further ideas from the 2011 Summit• Exploits the benefits of inter-disciplinary research but not interdisciplinary for interdisciplinary’s sake• Innovative / something not done before / not boring! / some element of ‘edge’• Not constrained to produce predictable outcomes / allows for higher risk research which may not produce the ‘expected’ results• Ideas driven• Sets new agenda• Transparent methodologies• Has relevance beyond the specific case studies• Builds upon existing knowledge.• Engages with stakeholders alive and dead• Should have pathways to potential impact embedded within the project• Methods to assess the impacts upon communities built into the design• Benefits from insights from the arts and humanities
Aims and Focus for this Workshop We hope the workshop will stimulate thedevelopment of innovative ideas for transformative, cross-disciplinary, community-engaged research consortia, combining arts and humanities expertisewith other research disciplines and community, policy and practice partners, to pursue the challenges and opportunities of supporting enhanced health and well-being in community contexts.
Flourishing People, Connected Communities, A Framework for Developing Well-Being, Department of Health 2009
Examples of Possible Challenges• What role does participation in community-based cultural and creative activities and ‘cultural connectivity’ play in promoting purpose & meaning in life and in enhancing mental health & well-being?• How can an understanding of community histories, cultures and values inform more targeted and better designed community-based initiatives and services that meet the health and caring needs of specific local or cultural communities (e.g. youth, ageing, disability, ethnic, faith, diasporic communities)?• How can cultural and creative activities help to engage communities with the challenges of promoting healthier behaviours and lifestyles (e.g. mental or physical exercise, better diets etc), in the co-design, co-production and co-delivery of services and in tackling addictive behaviours (e.g. drug and alcohol mis-use)?• How might it be possible to enhance the role that creative and cultural institutions, community organisations and/or cultural heritage play in supporting the health and well-being of communities and to better understand any associated value and benefits for communities?
Examples of Possible Challenges• Engaging with diverse cultural communities in all stages of the research to develop flourishing communities which support enhanced health and well-being• Innovative methods and approaches to capturing and assessing in a more holistic way the value and benefits (and any dis- benefits) of interventions and community- based cultural initiatives
The Challenges• These are just examples. Aims of the workshop are to identify challenges and develop creative approaches to addressing them• We do not have a pre-determined idea of the types of projects or approaches, topics etc that should emerge, but we do have an idea of the types of things we are looking for in follow-up proposals...
An OpportunityTo “do something different to make a difference”An opportunity for:• Creativity, innovation, imagination – projects should look different from previous research (but build on current knowledge & understanding)• Novel cross-disciplinary / Cross-Research Council collaborations including arts & humanities perspectives• Exploring new partnerships with policy / practice / business / voluntary sector & communities• Putting communities at the heart of the research• Co-design & co-production of research• Projects with the potential to move beyond single case studies to make a significant difference to research landscape, policy, practice and communities
A Unique Funding Opportunity• Longer and larger research projects (up to 5 years, £1.5m FEC) (plus co-funding opportunities)• Development funding up to £15k to support development of promising ideas for large projects• Follow-up funding up to £40k for other development activities (scoping, piloting, reviewing, networking, engaging, etc activities)• Unconstrained by Research Council boundaries but with Arts and Humanities research perspectives playing a central role.
Follow-Up Funding• We want to capture ideas and energy from the workshop and exploit opportunities for collaboration & adding value to our current portfolio• Activities could include: - networking events (e.g. seminars, workshops, on-line fora); - knowledge exchange and dissemination activities (e.g. conferences, joint publications, policy briefings); - people exchanges / secondments; - joint scoping studies / pilot projects (e.g. to test exploratory research methods / approaches); - joint reviews / syntheses of research; - community engagement activities; - collaborative training activities
Follow-Up Funding• Funding up to £40,000 available to summit participants, to start February 2012 and run for up to a year• Should be cross-disciplinary, including a significant arts and humanities contribution, but can cross the remits of Councils• Stakeholder & community engagement activities expected• Must involve at least two workshop participants & two institutions but can involve any number of other collaborators (academic/ non-academic, international etc...)• Applications through Jes, closing date 23rd November 2011, outcomes January 2012.• Light touch peer review
Roles at the Workshop• Speakers – Provide context, suggest ideas, stimulate debate...• Facilitator -Simon Wilson – guide us through the workshop and help us to get the most out of it...• Participants – suggest ideas, be open to new ideas and feedback, be prepared to take some risks and move outside comfort zones, develop the research agenda, discuss comment and question, provide and respond to feedback, network, collaborate, enjoy ...• Challenge Panel – provide advice on emerging ideas, help to identify most promising ideas for development with the most potential to contribute to the aims of the Programme, provide feedback, ask questions, challenge...• Research Council staff – help facilitate the meeting, advise, answer questions etc.
Roles at the Workshop – Challenge Panel• Gary Grubb AHRC (Panel chair)• Margret Meagher, Arts and Health Australia• David Buchanan, University of Massachusetts at Amherst• Phil Taverner, Assistant Director NETSCC - Public Health Research and Health Services Research, University of Southampton• Mike Locke, Volunteering England• Eleanor Marks, Welsh Government (Weds only)• Katie Finch, MRC
Roles at the Workshop – Research Council staff• AHRC, MRC, EPSRC and ESRC staff - help facilitate, link to other research activities and provide advice• Adam Walker, Gemma Broadhurst and other AHRC colleagues – advice on post workshop follow-up funding application process• Samantha Roythorne and AHRC colleagues – logistical and workshop arrangements, T&S claims etc.