Ambit: From creating spaces for civic discourse to creating resources for action

Digital Social Innovation

Collaborators Northumbria University

Abstract

We focus on the ways technologies might support civic society to make rich qualitative community-generated data a ‘resource for action’.

Method

We designed Ambit, a socio digital system to help civic society groups plan, structure, document and make sense of data from community consultation activities.

Takeaways

The group integrated the data Ambit produced into their existing practices and adapted their processes to adopt the system into their consultation.

We investigate the role of technology to address the concerns of a civil society group carrying out community-level consultation on the allocation of £1 million of community funds.

Following previous work in the space, we designed Ambit, a sociodigital system that provided a collection of digital tools and associated social and organisational processes to help civic society groups plan, structure, document and make sense of data from discursive community consultation activities.

In particular, we focus on the ways technologies might support civil society to make rich qualitative community-generated data a ‘resource for action’, and on the role of Ambit in promoting new forms of talk-based public deliberation.

Our findings outline the ways the group integrated the data Ambit produced into their existing practices and adapted their processes to adopt the system into their consultation.

Ambit is a browser-based application that uses a webcam and microphone to capture audio recordings and position data from a physical marker placed on a pre-defined ‘map’.
Ambit is a browser-based application that uses a webcam and microphone to capture audio recordings and position data from a physical marker placed on a pre-defined ‘map’.

How it works

Ambit is a browser-based application that uses a webcam and microphone to capture audio recordings and position data from a physical marker placed on a pre-defined ‘map’.

We designed physical and digital artefacts to support turn-taking, reason-giving, and building on one another’s ideas within in-person, group, and community engagement events. The physicality and materiality was intended to enforce a structure and balance with serendipity of prompts and topics for discussion.

Publications

From Creating Spaces for Civic Discourse to Creating Resources for Action

  1. Ian G. Johnson
  2. Dalya Al-Shahrabi
  3. John Vines

2020CHI '20: Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems