Current Approaches to Growing Together: Tales from the KQ

Lightning Talks

In these short presentations, we plan to look at case studies of the Knowledge Quarter’s innovative work at the cutting edge of knowledge-sharing. The goal of the session is to offer an informative guided tour, rich with visual data, through our current and planned approaches between partners, peers and the public.

Lightning Talks selected:

Going Jauntly: Using an in-app walk to highlight Bloomsbury history

by Madeleine Goodall, Heritage Coordinator, Humanists UK

The lockdown has brought about a new way of how Humanists UK engages with the community.. This Lightning Talk will look at the partnership with the walking app Go Jauntly that led to the development of an in-app Bloomsbury tour, the purpose of which was to share the hidden humanist history of London’s streets, buildings and monuments.

The format allows walks to be previewed in-app, with photographs, route descriptions, step-by-step instructions, and information on amenities. The app enabled Humanists UK to present research findings to a wider, non-specialist, public, in ways which were engaging, visually interesting, and available at any time. For many KQ organisations, this could be a means of similarly sharing research, collections, and partnerships. Walks and tours also help to emphasise the geographical closeness of KQ’s remarkable institutions, situating them within a wider community and network of knowledge, history, and day-to-day life.

Voices of the Earth: Stories of Species on the Edge

by Jane Riddiford, Global Generation

Voices of the Earth is a year-long collaboration which will bring together the creative practice and resources of three Knowledge Quarter partners: Global Generation, the Royal College of Physicians and the British Library. The project focusses on the collection of 1,100 plants in the Royal College of Physicians Medicinal Garden and their occurrence in other green spaces in Camden.

This Lightning Talk will introduce and launch the project, explaining how partners will explore the diversity of stories about these plants; their medicinal, culinary uses and their appearance in myth and folklore across world cultures; and their significance in the current reality of local and global extinction. The talk will also inform KQ partners of lesser-known, and new, green spaces in Camden.

Medieval meets modern: using digital methods for the dissemination of historical sources and research

by Mathew Barber, Consultant for Research and Data Visualisation for the KITAB team, Aga Khan University

The KITAB team at the Aga Khan University are currently applying a variety of digital methods to a large corpus of Arabic texts (constituting over 4000 unique works). The size and extent of the collection (over 100 works  are above 1 million words long), and the extensive and growing data produced through analysis of them, present exciting possibilities for the future design of digital reading environments. This combination of text and data through a digital environment also means that it can be globally accessible, allowing researchers, teachers and students to connect across the world through reading.

In this Lightning Talk, the speaker will introduce some of the datasets that the KITAB team is producing, and suggest some possibilities for how this data could be used to enrich the reading experience and enhance how researchers understand a particular text, or combination of texts. Delegates will be prompted to think about how these ideas might be applied to historical research in other languages and to other applications where users read in a digital format.

Anchors: The Power of Working Together for Local People

by Caroline Wilson, Director of Inclusive Economy and Jobs, Islington Council

This Lightning Talk will focus on the power of a progressive procurement approach – keeping spend as local as is practically possible.  Anchor institutions are organisations who are firmly rooted to a place and its people.  Their combined spending power could be a means through which greater economic, social and environmental benefits can be achieved.  Local supply chains are more likely to support local employment and have a greater tendency to recirculate wealth and surplus locally.  Islington Council is looking at how we can work more closely with some of our partners to really unlock the maximum benefit for local people and local businesses, and invites delegates to ‘mine’ more opportunities, together.

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