Digitally connected citizens

Digital technologies have an enormous potential to leverage citizen engagement in political and civic life. The widespread use of smartphones, tablets and wirelessly connected devices mean that such technologies can underpin citizen participation in national, regional, local and hyperlocal collaborative decision making, planning and design. This priority addresses the challenges and opportunities for digital technology to provide new forms of engagement of people in the evidence collection, decision making, design and the delivery of services and activities provided by government, business and the third-sector. In a digital society, where political engagement is declining, there is a need to understand the role of digital technology to transform civic engagement and influencing policy makers.

This priority could address research and training challenges that includes the role of digital technologies to: understand centralisation versus localised decision-making in relation to health care or regeneration, encourage audience participation in sporting, cultural and media events of all kinds, for example, broadcast and live performance or help people to live more enriched lives.

This priority aims to create a generation of cross-disciplinary (digital economy) researchers with expertise across digital technology, geography, social, economics and political and behavioural sciences. Centres for Doctoral Training graduates will explore new methodologies, including both qualitative and participatory methods to engage with users.