The DCitizens Project, a pioneering initiative in digital citizenship research, took a significant step forward in July as the Interactive Technologies Institute (IST) team, the project leader based in Lisbon, Portugal, embarked on a staff exchange visit to Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK. This exchange, held between 24-27 July 2023, marked an important milestone in fostering cross-border collaboration and knowledge exchange between the project partners.

Tuesday, 25 July 2023 – Department of Computer and Information Sciences

The program commenced with a warm welcome and administrative briefing by the Northumbria University team (UNN). The Lisbon team provided an overview of their projects, highlighting their research focus and achievements. The Newcastle team reciprocated with insightful presentations, covering areas such as civic tech, digital citizens, and urban futures.

The exchange continued with discussions on specific projects, including the Centre for Digital Citizens and the NorthLab Group. Various topics, such as artificial intelligence’s implications for the public sphere and democratic life, were explored during these interactive sessions.

The afternoon session delved deeper into the Newcastle team’s projects, featuring discussions on the CDC co-investigators, Urban Futures, NorSC, DLL, and Digital Health. The day concluded with a summary of the discussions, paving the way for further collaboration.

Wednesday, 26 July 2023 – Design & Art Department / PACT Lab

The second day of the exchange focused on interdisciplinary discussions. The Design & Art Round Table involved researchers from both teams sharing their work and insights. Topics ranged from digitally mature museums to the intersection of design, digital technologies, and death. The round table showcased the breadth and diversity of research interests within the DCitizens Project.

The afternoon session at the PACT Lab (Psychology Department) covered exciting topics such as chatbots for stigmatizing conditions and remote healthcare for eating disorders. The discussions emphasized the importance of digital solutions in addressing societal challenges.

Thursday, 27 July 2023 – Optional sessions/discussions with the core DCitizens team

The final day allowed for optional sessions and further discussions with the core DCitizens team, providing participants with additional opportunities to explore specific areas of interest.

The staff exchange concluded on a positive note, with participants expressing enthusiasm for future collaborations and continued knowledge exchange.

The Impact of the DCitizens Project:

The DCitizens Project represents a collaborative effort to enhance our understanding of digital citizenship and its impact on society. By bringing together researchers from different countries and disciplines, the project seeks to develop innovative solutions to the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital age.

The project fosters a culture of international collaboration through initiatives like staff exchanges, promoting a rich exchange of ideas, methodologies, and perspectives. Such exchanges are instrumental in accelerating research and nurturing a global network of experts working towards a common goal.

The staff exchange between the Interactive Technologies Institute, Lisbon, and Northumbria University, Newcastle, was a resounding success, strengthening the DCitizens Project’s foundation. The enthusiasm and dedication of the teams involved promise a bright future for digital citizenship research and innovation.

As the project unfolds, it will undoubtedly yield groundbreaking insights and solutions to empower citizens in the digital era. The DCitizens Project is a shining example of the transformative power of collaborative research and international partnerships in shaping a better future for all.