A group of people that attended the DCitizens Summer School posing for a photo.

  • When? July 9th – 11th
  • Where? Lisbon, Portugal – Creative Hub Beato, Factory Building, Room: Cookie 2 (2nd floor)
  • Cost? Free
  • How? Register here by 14th June. Registration is closed.

DCitizens is returning with a three-day training event in Lisbon, Portugal, that will explore the strategies and techniques to engage and work with communities to cocreate, deploy, and evaluate civic technologies that seek to empower citizens in service provision and civic participation.

The Summer School has been designed for people studying, working on research, or interested in Human-Computer Interaction and Community Informatics; it will take place from the 9th-11th July 2024 at Creative Hub Beato (Cookie 2 room, on the 2nd floor).

Our theme for this year’s summer school is Opportunities and Limitations of Civic Technologies. Digital technologies are often praised and credited as the solutions to all of life’s problems. For many communities and organisations there is a strong desire to embrace and leverage these magical black-boxes, but their lack of awareness and understanding of how to configure and adopt the tools create new barriers. 

Through a series of seminars and hands-on activities, you will have the opportunity to engage with real-world challenges and collaborate with members of local communities, which aim to provide you with some of the skills to work with communities and organisations to explore and realise Civic Technologies values. 


Registration is FREE but mandatory through the registration link (closed). Attendees must register by June 14th as places are limited. Registration includes lunches and coffee breaks. Travel and accommodation are not included.


The summer school is designed as a highly hands-on, project-based event where participants partner with community-based organisations to create projects grounded on real-world community needs and assets. Lectures and feedback will be provided as needed throughout the summer school.

Before the summer school, you will receive a design brief and other resources.

Time (GMT+1)Tuesday (location: Factory Building, Cookie 2 room, 2nd floor)Wednesday (location: Factory Building, Cookie 2 room, 2nd floor)Thursday (location: Factory Building, Cookie 2 room, 2nd floor)
09h30Welcome (Hugo Nicolau & Kyle Montague)
10h00Lightening Presentations from All Participants (Tanya Vlasova)Workshop: Exploring Probable Futures
(Reem Talhouk)
– Speculative Design
– Personas
– Scenario Building
Hands-on: Finalising Deliverables
– Finalising future scenarios
– Finalising presentation
11h00Coffee BreakCoffee BreakCoffee Break
11h30Seminar: Speculative Design for Civic Technologies
(Shaun Lawson & Pam Briggs)
Hands-on: Exploring Probable Futures
(Reem Talhouk)
Hands-on: Engaging with Community Partners
– Showcasing deliverables
– Collaborative scenario building
14h00Hands-on: Connecting with the Design Brief
– Understanding the problem space
– Discussion with academic mentors
Seminar: Involving Partners in Speculative Design (Anna Carter & David Clark)
– New tools for collaborative critical thinking
– Internal discussions
Round-table Discussion: Reflections, Provocations, and Commissioning following Events
(Kyle Montague, Sarah Rüller, Konstantin Aal & Alessio Del Bue)
15h30Coffee BreakCoffee Break
16h00Hands-on: Connecting with Community Partners
– Getting to know the partners
– Discussion of problem space
Hands-on: Involving Partners in Speculative Design (Anna Carter & David Clark)
– cont.
1-on-1: Individual Mentorship
– Students can request individual mentorship sessions with academics
Agenda for the 2024 DCitizens Summer School


The DCitizens 2024 Summer School will take place at Creative Hub Beato in the Factory Building. Beato Creative Hub is an innovation centre for creative and technological companies that is emerging in a complex of decommissioned factories on the eastern riverside front of Lisbon.

Address: Av. Infante Dom Henrique 143, 1950-406 Lisboa, Portugal



The design briefs and hands-on activities of the DCitizens 2024 Summer School are directly aligned with ongoing real-world projects in collaboration with four local institutions: the Intercultural European Club & the Aga Khan Foundation, the Portuguese Council for Refugees, Associação o Dom Maior, and Neighborhood Association Bairro Horizonte. Attendees will have the opportunity to work with the partners and hopefully influence and contribute to their Community-led research.

Bárbara seated at a table and looking to the side
Bárbara Oliveira (Portuguese Refugee Council)
Patricia with a red business jacket smiling
Patricia Luís (Aga Khan Foundation)
Sofia Terceiro & Paulo Rosa & Dinis (Dom Maior)
Andressa Campos (Associação Moradores Bairro Horizonte)
Eupremio Scarpa (Associação Desportiva e Recreativa “O Relâmpago”)
André Roma (Junta Freguesia da Penha de França)


Alessio Del Bue

Alessio Del Bue is a tenured senior researcher leading the PAVIS (Pattern Analysis and computer VISion) research line of the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Genova, Italy. Previously, he was a researcher in the Institute for Systems and Robotics at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) in Lisbon, Portugal. Before that, he obtained my Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Lourdes Agapito in the Department of Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London. His current research interests are related to 3D scene understanding from multi-modal input (images, depth, audio) to support the development of assistive Artificial Intelligence systems. He is co-author of more than 100 scientific publications, in refereed journals and international conferences, member of the technical committees of important computer vision conferences (CVPR, ICCV, ECCV, BMVC, etc.), and he serves as an associate editor of Pattern Recognition and Computer Vision and Image Understanding journals. Finally, Dr. Del Bue is an IEEE and ELLIS member in the recently formed Genoa unit.

More details on his webpage.

Ana Pires

Ana Pires is a cognitive psychologist with experience in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona (Spain).

Ana is a Research Fellow at ITI-LARSyS and Co-PI of the “Interaction and Perception” research line at the Center for Fundamental Research in Psychology from the Universidad de La República (Uruguay). Much of her work is dedicated to developing inclusive educational technology to facilitate the acquisition of core cognitive skills, such as executive functions, mathematics, and computational thinking, in children with mixed visual abilities. Her research prioritizes participatory and user-centered design approaches and incorporates multisensory and tangible elements to enhance learning, play, inclusion, and collaboration.

More details on her webpage.

Anna Carter

Anna is a Research Fellow at the DCitizens  and CDC projects at Northumbria University. She is passionate about empowering citizens with and through technology. Her research focuses on developing innovative solutions that promote digital democracy and civic engagement. Anna believes that technology can be used as a powerful tool to create positive social change.

More details on her webpage.

David Clark

David Clark is a PhD student from NorSC research group in Northumbria University, his research is dedicated to exploring the intersection of artificial intelligence and community engagement. His research focuses on the concept of the University as a Platform (UaaP), where academic institutions act as intermediaries, fostering collaboration between communities and AI technology. David’s work aims to ensure that AI applications in community safety are inclusive, transparent, and beneficial for all. Through his research, he seeks to empower communities by enhancing their understanding and participation in AI-driven initiatives.

More details on her webpage.

Konstantin Aal

Konstantin Aal studied business informatics at the University of Siegen and has been working as a research assistant at the Chair of Business Informatics and New Media at the University of Siegen since the end of 2012. Before that, he worked for several years as a student assistant in the come_IN project and wrote his thesis on the social platform come_NET and its use by children . His current focus is on research into fall prevention in seniors (iStoppFalls) and the use of social media during the Arab Spring.

More details on his webpage.

Pamela Briggs

Pamela holds a Chair in Applied Psychology at Northumbria University and is a Visiting Professor at Newcastle University.  She is a Co-Director of the UK’s Centre for Digital Citizens, a £9m collaboration between the Universities of Newcastle, Northumbria, Edinburgh and UCL.

Her work primarily addresses issues of identity, trust, privacy and security in new social media, focusing on digital inequality. In the last five years, she has secured over £2m in research funding, published over forty articles on digital behaviour, and worked with government and industry to generate social and business impact from this work. 

She is one of the founder members of the UK’s Research Institute in Sociotechnical Cybersecurity, funded by the National CyberSecurity Centre (NCSC) in association with UKRI’s Global Uncertainty Programme, and her most recent research awards address both usable and inclusive privacy and security.

More details on her webpage.

Reem Talhouk

Reem joined Northumbria University in 2020 as a Vice Chancellor Research Fellow at the School of Design and Centre for International Development after completing my PhD at Newcastle University. Her research draws on multiple design methods to investigate how technologies and design methodologies can be used in humanitarian contexts. She has conducted research in the Middle East, Europe and Australia on the role of technologies in improving refugee and asylum seekers’ health, resilience and security.

She has been awarded the Young Digital Leader of the Year (2020) by Digital Leaders 100 and the Newcastle University Medical Sciences Doctoral Prize (2020) for my PhD Thesis.

Reem is currently the Participatory Design Conference 2022 International Hubs Co-Chair and an active member of the Refugees & Human-Computer Interaction and the HCI4D communities. She is affiliated with the Center for Research on Population and Health at the American University of Beirut.

More details on her webpage.

Sarah Rüller

Sarah is a Research Associate at the Chair of Business Information Systems and New Media. Her research interests lie in the areas of Ethnography in HCI, Intercultural Learning Settings and Community Cooperation and Innovation.

More details on her webpage.

Shaun Lawson

Shaun is Professor of Social Computing and Head of the Department of Computer & Information Sciences at Northumbria University. He leads the Northumbria Social Computing (NorSC) research group. Prior to joining Northumbria in November 2015, he founded and led, for 10 years, the Lincoln Social Computing (LiSC) Research Centre at the University of Lincoln. His research lies at the boundaries between computing, design and the social sciences, and explores the use and significance of social media, and other collaborative and participatory digital services, in people’s lives. This includes a focus on the design, implementation and evaluation of new social platforms, applications and services as well as analysis of text, speech and image data. He was appointed the UK’s first Professor in Social Computing in 2011. He has conducted applied and cross-disciplinary work in areas including mental health and wellbeing, politics, activism, animal behaviour and sustainability. He has held, as PI, grants totalling over £2.5 million from funders such as EPSRC, ESRC, the EU, Microsoft Research, as well as industry, and is the co-author of over 150 peer-reviewed publications, including 12 full CHI papers in the last three years. He is the founding chair of the UK’s SIGCHI chapter, a full member of both EPSRC and ESRC Peer Review Colleges and a visiting Professor in Computer Science at UCL.

More details on his webpage.


Hugo Nicolau smiling at the camera.
Hugo Nicolau
(Instituto Superior Técnico)
Ana Pires smiling at the camera
Ana Pires
(Instituto Superior Técnico)
Kyle smiling at the camera.
Kyle Montague
(Northumbria University)
Anna Carter smiling
Anna Carter
(Northumbria University)
Reem Talhouk
(Northumbria University)


DCitizens has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme, project call HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ACCESS-03, Grant Agreement 101079116.