Save the Date: Collective Wisdom Workshop, 20-22 October 2021

Update, October 2021: after considering the dynamics of online workshops, we've kept these quite small and filled the places already.

The project leaders for the Collective Wisdom project invite you to save the dates of 20-22 October 2021 for a workshop addressing the state of the field of crowdsourcing, themes surfaced in The Collective Wisdom Handbook, and what lies on the horizon for intersecting practices in digitally enabled participation in cultural heritage. 

The Collective Wisdom project has three core goals, including 1) to foster knowledge exchange and 2) to capture, then share, the state of the art in digitally enabled participation and crowdsourcing. We believe hosting this workshop–in combination with the collaborative Book Sprint that produced The Collective Wisdom Handbook–will help us achieve the third goal of generating a research agenda and shared understandings that can inform future funding applications. Together, we can seed a thriving community of practice, facilitate sharing of experience and knowledge, and establish a research agenda with awareness of the complexities and opportunities of our intersecting disciplines. We can begin to further address gaps in practice and design crowdsourcing methods that extend to new and under-represented audiences, as well as those who have been excluded due to lack of access.

What to Expect

The Collective Wisdom project workshop will be held remotely in late October 2021. Consisting of a series of facilitated sessions focusing on critical and emerging topics, the workshop will invite participants to engage with one another through various methods including discussion, prompted reflection, and asynchronous submission. We will also provide opportunities to gather ideas that we won’t be able to adequately discuss at this event, to better carry them forward into future discussions. We anticipate that each day of the workshop will have a theme that connects the sessions; possible themes include traditional volunteering and grassroots organising; intersections with computational fields (CSCW, comp sci, ML etc); and connecting GLAM organizations and Digital Humanities (DH) research. And throughout, practical considerations will be in focus such as: ways to invite people who may not be practitioners but who have lots of experience working with large datasets (information science, data librarianship); or how to communicate the value of crowdsourcing results to DH specialists who may have little experience with projects involving public participation.

The Collective Wisdom project workshop will be guided by the project values, which also served as the foundation for the Book Sprint as we adapted that event for remote circumstances in spring 2021. Just as our writing team represented a range of disciplines and our current phase of community review of the Collective Wisdom Handbook invites input from volunteers and practitioners, a broader set of workshop participants will enrich the future of crowdsourcing. The Collective Wisdom project workshop offers further opportunities to build networks of knowledge, practice, and future collaboration. Still, those networks require ongoing engagement and outreach to wider communities. So we ask for your help in sharing the workshop with your peers, as well as other ways of being involved described below.

Potential topics

The following topics may seed discussions at the workshop:

  • Evidencing mental health and other benefits of participation in crowdsourcing, building on work on volunteering and mental health, social prescribing, etc and designing to maximise positive impact
  • Human computation systems with humanistic values, focus on volunteer experience
  • Patterns and workflows for engaging tasks that bring data or research where it's most needed – practical realities of nice-to-have data vs hardcore discoverability
  • Learning from other practical and theoretical fields e.g. physical volunteering; CSCW; social prescribing
  • Better links between different fields of practice (volunteering, community archives, etc) and academic research (crowd science, CSCW, etc)

We also anticipate that each day will include discussions of shared benefits for participants and for organizations, the benefits of continued knowledge exchange, and identifying key paths for future exploration.

We will share more details for application and registration in the coming weeks, including how to register for the workshop or individual days. In the meantime, we invite you to join the Collective Wisdom project in several ways. You can explore and comment on The Collective Wisdom Handbook during our open community review window, through 09 August 2021. Please do share links for chapters of the book with practitioners, planners, and participants who might be interested to learn more or share about their own experiences via comment. We welcome examples, projects, and organizations that we may have missed in the case studies included in the book; and we also encourage comments that surface counterpoints, tensions between planning and practice, and highlight other needs for deeper consideration. 

Still looking for more ways to connect? Join the Humanities Commons Crowdsourcing Group for additional opportunities to share your questions and practical tips. 

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