Queensland University of Technology Brisbane Australia A university for the real world Digital Storytelling

Community Uses of Co-creative Media

How can existing community-based infrastructure and new media affordances be combined to stimulate broad-based, population-wide innovation through creative participation? This national research project brought together leading agencies in community arts, community media and Indigenous media and a team of nationally and internationally recognised researchers in the field to investigate this question. The project paid particular attention to the role of formal agencies in these processes. It built on existing initiatives to link community cultural development, community media and digital storytelling movements in order to model and evaluate best practice in the adaptation, production and propagation of non-professional innovation in creative content. Through field experiments and demonstrator projects it assessed the role of community arts and media organisations in the growth and improvement of creative innovation in Australia.

This project was funded by the Australian Research Council under its Linkages with industry scheme. It used digital storytelling and similar co-creative media methods to consider how the coordination of sustainable participation and innovation in digital content creation across the Australian community arts, community broadcasting and Indigenous media systems might be improved. The core hypothesis of this research was that these sectors have significant potential as facilitators of participatory digital media culture but that re-purposing them in this way requires more than a techological shift or a name change. The broad questions that drove this research were:

  • Uses: How do cultural and broadcasting organisations with 'public good' commitments to access, participation, diversity and inclusion use co-creative approaches to facilitate value-creation in a context of falling barriers to communicative interaction and social participation?
  • Impediments: What limits of scale and operational constraints arise; how to address them?
  • Coordination: How can 'open futureâ'-oriented understandings of the value of co-creative media be generated and used to calibrate, develop, improve and innovate the existing infrastructure, practices and processes of co-creative facilitation supported by these agencies?
  • Improvements: How can the value of co-creative media be optimised for the communities of interest involved in these activities; how can knowledge about co-creative methods and outputs be accessed and propagated in the networks in which the Industry Partners are located?
The final project report includes details of project findings, activities and outcomes including publications, and can be downloaded from here.

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