Centre for
Digital Citizens


This Centre will allow us to explore how citizens and communities can be a part of the design of innovative technologies that work better for them, from finding ways to use shared personal data to creating citizen-led digital public services

David Kirk, Principal Invesigator

What is the Centre for Digital Citizens?

The Centre for Digital Citizens (CDC) is an EPSRC funded project addressing the emerging challenges of digital citizenship.

The CDC will take an inclusive, participatory approach to the design and evaluation of new technologies and services that support ‘smart’, ‘data-rich’ living in urban, rural and coastal communities.

Core to the Centre’s work will be the incubation of sustainable ‘Digital Social Innovations’ (DSI) that will ensure digital technologies support diverse communities and will have long-lasting social value and impact beyond the life of the Centre.

The Centre for Digital Citizens’ pilot projects will be spread across the urban, rural and coastal geography of the North East of England, embedded in communities with diverse socio-economic profiles and needs.

Our Activities

Engaged Citizen Commissioning Framework
Driving our programme to address these challenges is our ‘Engaged Citizen Commissioning Framework’. This framework will support citizens’ active engagement in the co-creation of research and critical inquiry.

Co-creation of research activities
The framework will use design-led ‘initiation mechanisms’ such as participatory design workshops, hackathons, community events, citizen labs, open innovation and co-production platform experiments to support the co-creation of research activities.

Innovation Fellows
Our Innovation Fellows, postdoctoral researchers, will engage in a 24-month social innovation programme within the Centre for Digital Citizens. They will pilot Digital Social Innovation projects as part of highly interdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder teams, including academics and end-users (e.g. Community Groups, NGO's, Charities, Government, and Industry partners).

Outcomes of the Centre for Digital Citizens
The outcome of these pilots will be the development of further collaborative bids), venture capital pitches, spin-outs and/or social enterprises. In this way the Centre will act as a catalyst for future innovation-focused Digital Economy activity.

Challenge Areas

The Centre for Digital Citizens will focus on four critical Citizen Challenge areas. Read these PDFs to find out more about each one.