Let's Get Real Conference 2019

Digital and Social Purpose

Event Over


The #LGR19 programme

Delegates at this conference learned and discussed how cultural organisations can bring digital practice and social purpose together. Here you’ll find an outline of the conference programme. See more information about our speakers here. 

Conference attendees sitting in a session

Credit: Flo Brooks Photography, Culture24 and the National Gallery

10.00-10.15 – Welcome 

Sejul Malde, Culture24

A brief introduction to the context and objectives of the day. We explained why arts and heritage organisations must grasp the opportunity to connect digital practice with social purpose if they are to remain relevant to audiences, now and in the future.

10.15-10.45 – Session one: Challenge

Keynote: Matt Adams, Blast Theory: 

Science fiction you can hold in your hand

By reflecting on Blast Theory’s work using interactive digital media to engage audiences with social and political questions, co-founder and artist Matt challenged how cultural organisations think about the relationship between social purpose and digital practice in the context of their audiences.

Matt introduced 2097: We Made Ourselves Over, a science fiction project in Hull and Aarhus that invited communities across both cities to cast their imagination 80 years into the future. Matt described how, through designing interactive experiences with digital media,  science fiction can become personal reality.

Download Matt’s presentation as a PDF here.

10.45-12.00 – Session two: Reframe

Finding the ‘social purpose’ in ‘digital’

Exploring this area doesn’t have to involve developing new projects – you can make a bigger impact with your existing digital work by adopting a more socially orientated approach. A variety of speakers from a range of different contexts shared ideas and inspiration for how to begin tackling this.


Jacob Davey, Institute of Strategic Dialogue : Internet Culture and Radicalisation: The manufacture of hate in the digital age

This talk examined how extremist counter-cultures manifest and operate across a range of digital platforms, and the approaches which are being taken to mitigate the spread of online hate.

Download Jacob’s presentation as a PDF here.

Romy Gad el Rab, Hyphen LabsDesigning ways to challenge bias through Virtual Reality

By discussing Hyphen Lab’s, NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism, an award winning three-part VR narrative inspired by the lack of  multidimensional representations of black women in technology, Romy reflected on the role of VR in challenging bias.

Download Romy’s presentation as a PDF here.

Tony Bhajam, Doink: Humanising data through creative storytelling

Download Tony’s presentation as a PDF here.

Katrine Pedersen, ARKEN Museum of Modern Art: Revealing the blind spots of technology through art 

The ubiquitous nature of technology is transforming spaces, connection and interaction. Ever more sophisticated software enables new communication structures and provides opportunities for creating new learning environments. But as our lives  become increasingly channeled and managed  by artificial systems – tech also threatens to reduce humans to the status of commodification. This talk was about how to identify the hidden value concepts, the unconscious bias and blind spots of our digital culture as well as how to build ethical technology with art.

Download Katrine’s presentation as a PDF here.

Chair: Sejul Malde, Culture24 


12.00-12.20 – Break


12.20-13.15 – Session three: Analyse

Placemaking and community building

A deep dive into the themes of placemaking and community building. Speakers in this session outlined potential partnership opportunities for arts and heritage organisations to embrace digital approaches. They discussed how such ways of working can foster more locally-sensitive placemaking strategies and nurture more connected communities.


Jo Morrison, Calvium: Digital Placemaking for Cultural Heritage. 

Drawing on extensive collaborations with arts and cultural heritage organisations, Jo explored how the creative and judicious use of digital technologies can enhance people’s relationships with places.

Download Jo’s presentation as a PDF here.

Charlotte Frost, Furtherfield: A Platform for Commons Culture

Charlotte discussed the work of Furtherfield, London’s longest running art and technology centre, and their approach to building a commons for the arts in the age of digital networks.

Download Charlotte’s presentation as a PDF here.

Chair: Anra Kennedy, Culture24 


13.15-14.00 – Lunch


14.00-15.10 – Session four: Inspire

Ideas for practical projects

Looking within and beyond the cultural sector, this session explored a range of projects that are doing something creative and practical with digital technology in order to become more socially relevant. Be inspired to run a feminist Wikipedia editathon or support a community’s mental health through interventions on Whatsapp and Facebook! Our speakers’ projects covered a range of digital tools and tactics, but all had an intention to do good.


Chris Rolls, 64 Million Artists: Creativity in Mind

Exploring the challenges and opportunities of online peer support groups fostering everyday creativity for individuals with mental health symptoms.

Download Chris’s presentation as a PDF here.

Katrina Sluis, Photographers’ Gallery and Kay Watson, Serpentine Galleries: Feminist Edit-A- Thons

Discussing a toolkit for hosting Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thons

Download Katrina & Kay’s presentation as a PDF here.

Kerrie Suteu, Culture Coventry: Digital Enabling

Using digital methods to develop independence for young people with additional needs and abilities.

Download Kerrie’s presentation as a PDF here.

Jennifer Trent Staves, Wellcome Collection: Digital journalism and social change

Using digital journalism to inspire social change in the museum.

Download Jennifer’s presentation as a PDF here.

Gillian Jackson, Livity: Livity and the Zipit App

How to create digital projects that create a lasting impact with young people.

Chair: Jane Finnis, Culture24


15.10-15.40 – Break


15.40-16.40 – Session five: Act

Navigating next steps

Making things happen! We rounded off the day with a very action-oriented session, packed with practical advice, aiming to help delegates become more confident about embracing the opportunities and overcoming the challenges in moving their digital practice forward with social purpose.


Daniel Martin, Derby Museums

Ross Parry, University of Leicester

Steph Fuller, Ditchling Museum

Cliff Manning,  Parent Zone and Carnegie Trust

Chair: Anra Kennedy, Culture24


16.40-17.00 – Session six: Reflect

Conference plenary

Final thoughts and reflections on the day from delegates, speakers and social channels.


17.00 to 18.30 – Drink!

A networking social opportunity to meet fellow conference delegates and chat to speakers over a drink.

Posted September 27, 2018 in: Uncategorized by sejul

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