Social media, place and policy

Wed 9 Mar 2016, 16:30 - 19:30

DigitasLBi - 146 Brick Lane, London, E1 6RU, United Kingdom

What is the potential of social media to capture how people interact with and relate to places, and how can social media data help underpin research, planning and both business and policy decisions at local and regional levels?

This public event will cover the power and the limits of analysing and using social media data from research, commercial and policy points of view. A panel of experts will present and explore case studies of how social media technology platforms can and have been used to make local planning and policy decisions based on evidence of real behaviour. The meeting will also look at the proper role for social media as a proactive tool, looking at how researchers, policy makers and others can make use of social media as an engagement tool and source of evidence around place and locality.

A series of presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A, and will culminate in a networking session. 

This is an open public event bringing together researchers, writers, policy makers, entrepreneurs and politicians in an exploration of and debate on social media and place-based decision making. It will bring together commercial players with research, charities and central and local government stakeholders to share knowledge and opportunities. 


Where We Live Now is a series of activities on the theme of place and place-based policymaking being conducted by the British Academy. Through Where We Live Now, we will review the evidence for people’s attachment to place and consider whether place-based policy-making – aligning the design and resourcing of policy-making to the scales at which individuals connect to places, irrespective of departmental or sectoral divisions – would produce more effective policies and improve people’s lives.


Andrew Collinge Assistant Director, Intelligence & Analysis, Greater London Authority

Anne Burns, ESRC Research Associate The Visual Social Media Lab, University of Sheffield

Ashley Kenerson Head of Data Analytics & Insight, DigitasLBi

John Davies Economic Research Fellow, Nesta

Mark Birkin Professor of Spatial Analysis and Policy, University of Leeds, and Director, Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC)

Chaired by Matt Desmier, Founder, Silicon Beach

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