This 2021-2023 project aspires to reposition HEIs with respect to society, as traditional models of knowledge creation and circulations have shifted, challenged by bottom-up, community-driven action and the networking of individuals worldwide.
The COVID-19 crisis brought to the forefront societal challenges affecting all sectors of human activity. Numerous citizen initiatives strive to tackle these challenges through digitally enhanced, community-driven digital action (DA). These initiatives take place at the local, national and international level and highlight the dynamics and strengths of DA as a catalyst for social change in crises contexts.
The three best known forms of DA in COVID-19 times, that the project addresses, are:
-citizen science in COVID-19 times;
-the maker movement (i.e. fabrication of medical equipment);
-hacktivism (hackathons, datathons, open data sprints against COVID-19).
In this realm of DA in the fight against the pandemic, HEIDI project (Digital action at HEIs as a catalyst for social change in the COVID-19 crisis) aspires to reposition HEIs with respect to society, inasmuch traditional models of knowledge creation and circulations have shifted, challenged by bottom-up, community-driven action and the networking of individuals worldwide. With the aim to offer HEIs a more central role in the ongoing debates about social change through skills development of HE staff and students and to situate HEIs as cocreators in solutions to the problems that surface with the pandemic, HEIDI project seeks to create collaborative frameworks between HEIs, voluntary-sector and civic society organizations.
University College London (UCL), coordinator
Citizens in Power (CIP)
Université de Paris, CRI
University of Malta
Duration: 24 months (April 2021-March 2023).