Spring 2022 Programme

POC-C Seminar

Politics of co-creation (PYAM-9142, 5 study credits) is a research seminar under the Doctoral programme in political, societal and regional changes (PYAM) at the University of Helsinki. The seminar is open to researchers, PhD and master’s students, and other experts interested in the related issues to co-creation and its introduction as a new paradigm in knowledge production, politics, and innovation. The seminar is also a venue for academic exchange for the COLDIGIT research project (Collective Intelligence through Digital Tools) run by the Politics of Co-creation research group.

Contacts: Bokyong (Bo) Shin – bokyong.shin(at)helsinki.fi & Mikko Rask – mikko.rask(at)helsinki.fi

Spring 2022 theme: Evaluation of co-creation

As public authorities increasingly involve multiple stakeholders in working on wicked social problems, including planning, environment, and social innovation, the notion of co-creation has received significant attention. Co-creation refers to ”practices that mobilize the experiences, resources, and ideas of a plurality of public and private actors in the creation of public solutions” (Torfing et al., 2019, p.3). Practitioners and researchers need new approaches to evaluate the democratic processes and outcomes within this governance transformation.

Against this challenge, the Politics of Co-creation seminar invites students and scholars to share their ideas, works, and use-cases related to the evaluation and co-creation. The seminar welcomes both qualitative and quantitative approaches to diverse real-world cases. The form of the presentation is free, but we encourage presenters to share the following points:

– Problem orientation and research questions
– Analytical framework
– Data collection and methods
– Summary of preliminary or expected study results

Seminar format

The participants will present their works using PowerPoint presentations (30-45 minutes). After the presentation, PhD students who participate in the course will take a discussant role (10 minutes). Discussions are then open to all participants. Practitioners and users of knowledge are also welcome to take part in the discussions.

Slots for the Spring 2022 seminar
21.1. 13.15–14.45

Assessing the social impact of Industry-Academia collaborations in social media: A Finnish case study.
Postdoctoral researcher Bokyong Shin

As industry-academia collaboration proliferates, there is a growing interest in enhancing and assessing its social impact. Industrial and academic stakeholders increasingly use social media platforms to promote public awareness of their innovative contributions and societal benefits. However, few studies have examined the substance and reception of social impact in social media platforms. This article fills this gap by analyzing social impact activities in Twitter with a case of the Tandem Industry-Academia project in Finland. Using public Twitter API, this article collected 20000 tweets related to the project during 2019 and 2021 and applied topic modeling and network analysis as analytical methods. In this seminar, Bokyong will report the preliminary results and open the floor for questions and comments.

Zoom link: https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/62419842588?pwd=VnVrWDdrK3YzclJXQ2VjQmFDNnBodz09

11.2. 13.15–14.45

Practice theory meets Co-creation
Professor Mika Pantzar

Professor Mika Pantzar has for a long time contributed to the developed practice theory that borrows from actor network theory, but also from general evolutionary thoughts when emphasizing the reproductive quality of behavioural patterns and emerging practice complexes. In this seminar meeting, Mika will give an introduction to practice theory and reflects how it might be applicable to the study of co-creative processes. For participants interested in this topic, you can find a manuscript-in-process (attached below), where Mika discusses the journey of practice theory to its current form.

Manuscript: MANUCRIPT_PANTZAR_Practice theory handbook

Zoom link: https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/62419842588?pwd=VnVrWDdrK3YzclJXQ2VjQmFDNnBodz09
Passcode: 897336

18.3. 13.15–14.45

Dialogue, deliberation, and aggregation: new approaches to collective decision-making and self-governance.
Coordinators: Hidenori Nakamura and Bokyong Shin

In this seminar, we will focus on different ways of collective will formation, be it based on dialogue, deliberation, or aggregation of votes. The session is based on presentations of two book chapters, followed by free discussions. Due to the nature of the session, participants are expected to read the materials listed below:

1. Dialogue? Deliberation? How about combining them?–The D+D Process:
In this session, we discuss the “D+D Process” by Oliver Escobar (2011), who proposed a mixed model of dialogue and deliberation to overcome the limitations and facilitate more democratic decision-making. Bokyong will present the main content of the text (10 mins), followed by free discussions considering real applications with pros and cons (30 mins). Can the D+D process empower the public, particularly disadvantaged groups, in democratic decision-making processes?

Escobar (2011) Chap. 4-6.
Escobar, O. (2011). Public dialogue and deliberation: A communication perspective for public engagement practitioners. Edinburgh Beltane. https://eresearch.qmu.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/20.500.12289/2614/eResearch_2614.pdf?sequenc

2. Quadratic Voting as an alternative voting model?:
Quadratic voting has gained increasing attention (https://www.economist.com/interactive/2021/12/18/quadratic-voting, https://www.dgen.org/blog/quadratic-voting-on-the-blockchain-counting-voter-preference). In this session, we discuss the problem of the current one-person-one-vote in a majority system and the possibility of quadratic voting as an alternative. AF-JSPS Postdoctoral fellow Hidenori Nakamura will summarise the concept of quadratic voting with blockchain technology (10 mins) and open the floor for discussion (30 mins). Can quadratic voting help us make collective decision-making more democratically?

Posner and Weyl (2018) Chap 2.
Posner, E. A., & Weyl, E. G. (2018). Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. Princeton University Press. http://governance40.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Eric-Posner-E.-Weyl-Radical-Markets_-Uprooting-Capitalism-and-Democracy-for-a-Just-Society-Princeton-University-Press-2018.pdf

Zoom link: https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/62419842588?pwd=VnVrWDdrK3YzclJXQ2VjQmFDNnBodz09
Passcode: 897336

8.4. 13.15–14.45

Unpacking interconnections: Democratic models and the politics of facilitation
Presenter: Doctoral researcher Natalia Villaman

Facilitation is a practice used for mediating conflicts of interest, while addressing complex systemic issues. Facilitation is often seen as an art of advancing democratic decision making, by supporting the involvement of different types of knowledge and actors, all in their own unique ways across sectors and through different means of collaboration. Despite its central role in the practices of participatory and deliberative governance, facilitation remains highly under-theorized.

In this seminar meeting, we will continue exploring the “politics of facilitation” through two academic articles. The article by Phil Kirk and Mike Broussine (2000) reflects on the impacts of the politics of facilitation, whereas the section from John Fishkin’s (2011) book defines the participatory and deliberative models of democracy, against which the role of facilitation can be discussed.

In this study circle type of meeting, doctoral researcher Natalia Villaman will introduce us to the main arguments of these articles and raises questions that will be discussed in the seminar. Some main points of discussion will include the question about the political nature of facilitation, the expected role of facilitation in contributing to more egalitarian, inclusive and high-quality deliberation, the status of facilitation theories in academic literature as well as topical examples of facilitation from topical cases in Finland and internationally. The session is open to the public and aims to encourage an open discussion, joint sharing of ideas and posing questions to spark further thoughts on these topics.

Kirk, P., & Broussine, M. (2000). The politics of facilitation. Journal of Workplace Learning, 12(1), 13–22. doi:10.1108/13665620010309756 – On understanding facilitation as a political practice (12 pages) https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/13665620010309756/full/pdf?title=the-politics-of-facilitation

Fishkin, James S. (2011). When the People Speak: Deliberative Democracy and Public Consultation. Oxford, 2011. Oxford Scholarship Online – pg. 65, 76-85 (11 pages)

Politics of co-creation

Zoom link: https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/62419842588?pwd=VnVrWDdrK3YzclJXQ2VjQmFDNnBodz09
Passcode: 897336

22.4. 13.15–14.45

Striving for Normality: Agency, Citizen Participation and Intergroup Belonging on the Urban Periphery of Helsinki
Presenter: Postdoctoral researcher Pekka Tuominen

In my presentation, I examine how the inhabitants of a culturally diverse suburban estate in Finland strive for meaningful encounters in their lives. The focus is on Kontula, a residential working-class district on the eastern periphery of Helsinki, which has become a powerful symbol of the ills of contemporary urbanity – poverty and social problems, as well as rootlessness and the failed integration of the immigrant populations – in the vernacular geography and media representations of the city.

I studied how everyday mobility in an increasingly segregated city is related to a range of qualities of sociocultural encounters, both within the immediate neighbourhood and across other urban areas. I argue that for many marginalised inhabitants, agency predominantly emphasises striving for normality, not a challenge to the system. This is why it is so rarely recognised. Themes such as common decency, meaningful activity and equal encounter are much more typical aims of everyday practices than those focussing on changing the conditions. The contexts explored range from the familiar and neighbourly surroundings characterised by high degree of cultural intimacy and effortlessness to spaces with unfamiliar expectations and very different cultural codes. How do people living on the stigmatised periphery establish sense of belonging in a segregated city? How is it possible retain a sense of decency and dignity in unpredictable circumstances?

During my long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the area, I concentrated on the qualities of encounters and senses of agency. These are interweaved with the inhabitants’ everyday life, realised in their movement across the city and vary considerably in different contexts, reproducing the quotidian urbanity of Helsinki.

Zoom link: https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/62419842588?pwd=VnVrWDdrK3YzclJXQ2VjQmFDNnBodz09
Passcode: 897336

27.5. 13.15–14.45

Fridays For Future meets Citizen Science
Presenter: Anna Soßdorf, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf

Source: https://fridaysforfuture.org/what-we-do/who-we-are/

The Fridays For Future (FFF) climate movement has been strikingly successful in drawing global attention and appealing not only to teenage peers, but also to all segments of society. The extensive research has dealt with the activists’ reliance on social media and peer networks, their limited commitment to traditional organizations, or their socioeconomic characteristics such as the strong female presence. Most findings have remained on the macro level of the phenomenon; nevertheless, more in depth micro level analyses are palpable. This research gap is where this project fed into.

Within this citizen science project at the University of Duesseldorf scholars and local FFF activists were brought together to target the research question: How are decisions made and what influencing factors play a role? The approach of the research project differs from previous methodologies by making the activists part of the knowledge producing process. The rationale behind giving ownership to those citizen scientists is that the activists are better equipped to address the relevant questions and methods than traditional scholars. In the presentation the main pillars of the project, relevant methodological aspects of citizen science as well as the main findings and lessons learnt will be discussed.

Fridays For Future website: https://fridaysforfuture.org/
Article (open access): Mucha, Witold, Anna Soßdorf, Laura Ferschinger und Viktor Burgi (2020): „Fridays for Future Meets Citizen Science. Resilience and digital protests in times of Covid-19“. In: Voluntaris 8:2. https://doi.org/10.5771/2196-3886-2020-2-261

Zoom link: https://helsinki.zoom.us/j/62419842588?pwd=VnVrWDdrK3YzclJXQ2VjQmFDNnBodz09
Passcode: 897336
Seminar room: Room 127, Snellmaninkatu 10