Welcome to the Technology and Social Action Web Site


Welcome to the Technology and Social Action Website


This site was established as part of the Technology and Social Action project to foster dialogue and collaboration between activists in social movements, voluntary and community organisations and technology designers. It was funded under the Designing for the 21st Century initiative of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council.

A follow-on 2-year project Practical Design for Social Action (PRADSA) was funded under the second round of the Designing for the 21st Century call for proposals, and began in March 2007.

The first event for 2007 was a workshop at Leeds Metropolitan University on the 21st / 22nd of March. It opened a dialogue between academics and
practitioners, to identify key themes for Technology and Social Action.

The following was the call to participate in this workshop;

Are you shaping the tools or techniques that help other people shape their world?

There is no job description for what you do. You mix dedication to social change, confidence with people and organisations, and technical knowledge or skills. You are part of a growing number of committed people using innovation and ICT to help others work on social and political issues.

PRADSA (Practical Design for Social Action) is running a series of workshops around the UK to share best practice amongst people with your hybrid interests and skills. These workshops will offer the opportunity:
. To meet and work with other people engaged in the same pursuit as you;
. To reflect on what you do, share your insights and package them for wider circulation;
. To consider future directions and explore the social and technical challenges these might raise;
. To contribute to the store of knowledge and tools that exist about how to support people trying to improve their corner of the world;
. To choose the topics that the series of workshops will address, in consultation with other initial workshop attendees.

The first workshop took as its theme '' Designing the Techniques and Tools that Shape the Future - Social and Technical Challenges '', and focueds upon the main issues with working to support communities or organisations concerned to effect change, either in the voluntary, political or not-for-profit arena. The subsequent 5 workshops were shaped by the agenda that emerged from this workshop

The "Practical Design for Social Action" project's goal was to develop and extend the capability of social action organisations to creatively design new practices by appropriating and adapting ICTs?. There were three strands to the project, of which the workshop series was one.
The other two were:
. To develop a new understanding of designing in social action settings, grounded in detailed contextual studies of design in practice.
. To create a collection of practical resources to support the work of practitioners (and others) including workshop materials and easy-to-use (open-source) on-line community communications systems.


The PRADSA project was grounded in the work of the Technology for Social Action (TSA) project"

Bringing together activists and researchers an event took place at Sheffield Hallam University on 20th and 21st June 2005. It identified three themes to galvanise the efforts of those involved in the cluster. These themes were


Following on from the work at Leeds and Sheffield, we held a further, 1-day, workshop on the theme of Evaluation & Organisational Learning Workshop at Loughborough University on Sept. 28th. 2005 Further details are in the full Call for Participation.


We subsequently held a workshop at the Paricipatory Design Conference, Trento, Italy, 1st August 2006, bringing together campaigners, practitioners and academics to examine the use of technology to promote emancipatory social change.


Mailing Lists

Although the PRADSA workshops have finished we continue the dialogue. If you would like to join the PRADSA email list, you can join via: