Building Networks and Adding Value to Communities

It's been a busy couple of weeks sharing and learning through the creative tech communities and contributing at events. Understanding the value of partnerships and collaborations has given us amazing opportunities with latest projects and plans moving forward.

Snippets below from some recent activities.

Andrew attended the Discover Shift symposium in Macclesfield on 13th February, and contributed to one of the panel discussions. Celebrating the pilot year of SHIFT, the cross sector symposium explored the convergence between the arts and digital, highlighting activities and themes developed throughout Cheshire East.

Another panel at The Things Network Conference saw Claire contributing to a 'building communities through LoRaWAN' discussion.

And the opportunity to share our strategies to help democratise access of the power of LoRaWAN for everyone through a keynote at the same conference.

Removing the barriers: Empowering communities to make a smarter, more connected world with LoRaWAN.

The presentation explores two areas of our programmes:

  1. How can we develop more diverse and inclusive programmes to engage all citizens in real world problems through digital making and adopting LoRaWAN?

  2. How can we effectively facilitate collections of digital storytelling projects engaging communities in cities across the North of England to creatively solve local issues?

In short?

With context and purpose through education:

Community Change Makers: Improving the air that we breathe

Our Awards for All bid to The Big Lottery Fund has been successful and we’re taking ‘Invent Things’ to Leeds!

Funding means that we’ll be bringing communities together across the city and immersing intergenerational groups in a series of imaginative and hands-on digital workshops to improve their own health, wellbeing and local environment. The focus will be on air quality, with communities collaborating to shape their own futures and drive changes towards a healthier outlook.

Groups will collaborate to identify an area to target for cleaner air and use digital making skills to ‘make it happen’. They'll be taking data-driven decisions to help change behaviours and measure the impact on the quality of air around them.

Updates about ‘Sense and Sense Air-bility’ projects will be shared on the Invent Things portal with blog posts showcasing progress and ideas that can be used by other groups - in Leeds and with the wider Things Network community.

Things Network Conference: Empowering communities to make a smarter, more connected world with LoRaWAN.

Removing the barriers: Empowering communities to make a smarter, more connected world with LoRaWAN.

things network conference flyer

We're thrilled to be invited to share how we've developed more diverse and inclusive programmes, engaging groups to creatively solve their own local issues, at The Things Network conference in February.

We'll be exploring the Foundation's approach with digital data storytelling projects across communities in the north of England.

internet of curious things

Removing barriers: Exploring meaningful data projects with The Internet of Curious Things

The Internet of Curious Things is our programme of inclusive and accessible projects that give everyone a chance to explore data and connect communities. With or without previous digital making or coding experiences. That's the important bit that we take to everything activity we plan.

Development of hardware and software allows the focus to be more on creative problem-solving and empowering people to be changemakers in their own communities.

block code to collect environmental data

Sensor nodes can be programmed in Python or via drag and drop blocks, so primary aged children who have used Scratch as a programming environment in school can immediately transfer skills. Also, by providing access to other people’s projects, new users can explore already working code and then adapt and remix the lines of code for their own applications.

Smart citizens of Leeds recently innovated with more 'Internet of Curious Things' projects as part of a collaboration with Leeds Libraries and The Ada Show.

workshop room at leeds library internet of curious things workshop

Participants brought along varying levels of coding experiences, with the whole group embracing the possibilities of The Things Network and the concept of the internet of things to build their own inventions.

adult coding to collect data

It was also a great opportunity to share the expansion of infrastructure and exciting possibilities with the Things North communities spanning the north of England, sparking new ideas and talking points.

adults checking out things network global map

More information about Things North on the link below:

Exploring LoRaWAN at Leeds Raspberry Jam

September's Raspberry Jam in Leeds saw the workshop focused on LoRaWAN possibilities with a hands-on session to explore new inventions.

Groups used the Raspberry Pi and Codebug to collect and share environmental data with future nature projects as a favourite community theme.