VOLCROWE Professional Development Workshop at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting (August, 2016)
In August 2016, members of the VOLCROWE research project successfully organised and delivered a Professional Development Workshop at the recent Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California. The workshop, entitled ‘Organising Work Online with Crowds’, aimed to establish the key differences and similarities between the management of crowdsourcing in commercial and non-profit sectors, as well as the aspects of successful models that could usefully be employed in other contexts.
The Professional Development Workshop was listed among the Academy Programme Highlights as an event of particular interest to the Organizational Communication and Information Systems (OCIS) interest group. The workshop was attended by over fifty delegates, with very positive feedback was given by those in attendance. For example, in response to being asked whether the session had enhanced their awareness and understanding of the topic, the workshop was given a score of 4.13/5. In response to a question relating to whether the session had affected their behaviour or thinking, respondents awarded the workshop a score of 3.56/5. When asked whether they would pass information from the session on to others, respondents awarded a score of 4.13/5. Specific written feedback included ‘Deeper insights into open innovation communities, didn’t know about citizen science before‘, ‘Enjoyed the interaction‘ and ‘Connections: met some very interesting people‘.
A separate page has been created on the VOLCROWE website containing materials from the session, which can be accessed here. In addition to members of the VOLCROWE team, thanks are expressed in particular to Samer Faraj (McGill University); Pete Forsyth (Wikistrategies); Emmanouil Gkeredakis (University of Warwick); Natalia Levina (New York University); Ann Majchrzak, (University of Southern California) and Ching Ren (University of Minnesota) for their part in organising and running the event.
VOLCROWE Workshop on Volunteering and Altruism in the Digital Economy (April 2015)
The VOLCROWE Team, in association with NEMODE and other Network+ Groups, ran a one-day workshop on volunteering and altruism at St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford on 22nd April 2015. The workshop brought together academics, researchers and other interested parties to share ideas, evidence and policy relevance of research into volunteering and altruism and the impact of the digital revolution on these processes.
Attendees at this multidisciplinary workshop were able to share and learn about alternative perspectives on volunteering, including the motivation to volunteer, the impact of volunteering, the notion of civic society and ways in which digital volunteering might lead to widening participation in the voluntary sector. The event also explored theoretical and empirical research into volunteering, as well as the evolution of a shared research agenda that would foster future inter-disciplinary collaboration. There will be ample opportunities to network and learn about other streams of research being undertaken in this field.
In attendance were representatives from NESTA’s Innovation in Giving Fund, as well as Cancer Research UK, who have made innovative use of online crowdsourcing and gamification to encourage contributions to the battle against cancer. Contributors provided thought-provoking insights into the ways in which the digital economy has fundamentally changed the way that people can volunteer their time to help with worthy projects, as well as some of the challenges and key questions they have faced when innovating in this way. In addition, members of the VOLCROWE and other research teams provide an insight into the economics of volunteering in the digital economy.
Links to a range of materials form the event can be found here.
Wikithon Event at Zoocon Portsmouth (September 2014)
The VOLCROWE team hosted ‘ZooCon Portsmouth’, a successful public event in collaboration with Wikipedia held at the University of Portsmouth. The event brought together a group of volunteer contributors from the Zooniverse platform (www.zooniverse.org) to reflect on the profile of citizen science on the web and how it was being represented on sites such as Wikipedia. With guidance from Wikipedia representatives, attendees then participated in a ‘Wikithon’ where the Wikipedia entries for citizen science and Zooniverse projects were collaboratively reviewed and updated live at the event. Attendees also received training on how to continue revising and updating such entries in the future and took part in a series of one-to-one interviews with researchers on the VOLCROWE team regarding their motivations for participating in citizen science projects.
As a result of the Wikithon, it became clear that the current rules regarding image use adopted by Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) are preventing use of the images on public websites like Wikipedia. The Executive Board of the SDSS is now in the process of responding to a formal motion to revise the rights for image use to allow for more general usage. All signs are positive that a change of policy will result from this activity and the images from this survey will be made more widely available to the general population as a direct result of this event.
Hanny van Arkel, who attended the event commented “The ZooCon Portsmouth event was a success. It’s always nice to be properly updated about the new citizen science projects and it was fun to be a part of the ‘Wikithon’ session. Maybe especially as a citizen scientist, I have always liked the idea behind Wikipedia and – of course – I use it often. I had never really done any editing myself though, even though I had once made an account for it. We started this session with an insightful presentation and we were taken by the hand (as a group) to start editing some of the Zooniverse pages. I did learn some new things, in particular about what to do when there’s a conflict of interest and the whole set-up was very motivating. Especially because we were in the group and we could share ideas. It was great and I really should do this more often!”