2018: a year in review

2018 has been a good year for me and for my research team DATACTIVE. I would like to take the opportunity of the turn of the year to review what we accomplished and what remains to do.

We advanced with data collection, and are almost done. Just to mention one, we are close to 200 interviews, and the material is extremely rich.
We organized two exciting events, the July workshop entitled "Democracy under Siege" (July 4-5) and the Big Data from the South (December 4-5), and eve a hackaton.
Collectively we delivered over 40 talks, myself alone over 30 (not all related to DATACTIVE). Among others, I keynoted at the bi-annual conference of the STS Italia association, entitled "Technoscience from below", I delivered a TEDx talk to secondary school students, and was invited to speak at Falling Walls in Berlin (definitely the most entertaining talk of the year, with the collaboration of an amazing mine!).
We published a dozen between papers and book chapters, including an article for Policy & Internet by Niels ten Oever, two for the International Journal of Communication (here and here), three contributions in a special issue of XRDS on anonymity. We released a special issue on data activism of the peer-reviewed journal Krisis: Journal for Contemporary Philosophy. Many more contributions are in print. In January alone, an article on the consequences of engaging with data will appear on First Monday; a collective book chapter will be released in the context of an amazing edited collection on Good Data; the special issue of the journal Policy & Internet on internet architecture & human rights will see the light of day.
The DATACTIVE blog, the critical communities debate and the Big data from the South blog are thriving; our work was mentioned in several media outlets in a variety of idioms.
In July we were awarded a Proof of Concept grant of the ERC to work on the Algorithms Exposed project (ALEX). Stay tuned for further developments, including a brand-new website which will soon become available at the URL algorithms.exposed.
And most importantly, we continued learning from each other and from the many activists we encountered during fieldwork, and we continued experimenting with a different way of doing and being academia (among others, see here and here).
With less than two years to the end of the grant, we will now dedicate ourselves primarily to data analysis and writing. ALEX will keep some of us busy, and will allow us to expand our team hiring a couple of developers and collaborating with NGOs. To start with, next week we will seize the opportunity of the forthcoming of the Digital Methods Winter School to advance with software development. We can anticipate we will use the forthcoming EU Parliament election as one of our test cases, so if you are interested in collaborating to a research on the effects of algorithmic personalisation please get in touch.