Are We Making Sense? The Commons in Action

This workshop is to LEARN and SHARE


Thursday 25th of August from 9h00 to 10h30




UK-based Living Lab Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) will provide an interactive space for you to find out more about ‘The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing’, a new framework, devised by KWMC and Ideas for Change, that places citizens at the heart of ‘smart city’ design and technical innovation.

The aim of the workshop is to explore new strategies for enabling co-designed and citizen-led activity. Discover more about the process of ‘commoning’ and how it can help us collaborate to use technology for the common good.


Smart citizenship, co-design, ‘commoning’ and tech innovation


Working with Future Cities, Bristol City Council, Ideas for Change, and artists, KWMC launched a new framework for delivering citizen sensing programmes in November 2015. Learning from other cities, KWMC set out to develop a sustainable and replicable model that enables citizens to co-design useful technologies and better understand the challenges inherent in the increasing automation, sharing and use of data. The Bristol Approach methodology counters ‘top-down’ and tech-led initiatives by placing people and the issues they care about at the forefront.

Using The Bristol Approach ( over a period of ten months, KWMC has explored issues including diversifying the mental health support services offered to young people, reducing food waste, and tackling problems caused by damp in rented accommodation. They have worked with artists, tech innovators, data experts, community groups, environmental activists, SMEs and local residents who want to change their cities for good.

In this workshop KWMC will share insights from this process whilst creating a space for shared exploration and learning.

The session will be ideal for living labs interested in identifying the day-to-day challenges faced by people living in our urban centres, including under-employment, low educational achievement, poor health, poverty and a lack of access to city services.

Through an interactive and lively process, participants will explore how the Bristol Approach framework can be applied, its relevance to their own context, and what it means to create and act as a ‘commons’. There will be space for sharing ideas about what we know, what we don’t know, and what we need to know but haven’t thought of yet – as well as ‘commons’ challenges and prizes!

Workshop organiser/facilitator: Carolyn Hassan