Public engagement is a key concern for CCIG. Through our wide-ranging research activities we aim to work as a catalyst for the creation of new publics that drive social change and enrich our collective life.
Publics are groups of people who come together to bring about social, economic, cultural or technological change. They are vital because, without them, many local, global, private or inter-personal concerns would not be owned, represented or considered collectively. For example, without publics assembling around issues of environmental sustainability, global trade justice or proposed changes to UK forest management it is unlikely that they would have been pushed to the top of the political agenda.
Our approach is distinctive and unconventional because it treats publics as diverse rather than uniform, dynamic rather than static and unpredictable rather than predictable. We also recognise that publics emerge and are sustained through interaction and exchange. So our work in this area is experimental, bringing together expertise from different areas and making full use of both old media (such as press and broadcast) and new technologies (such as web platforms).
We believe our approach to public engagement is truly innovative; by creating new publics we work to intervene in social change in relevant ways, bringing real benefits to citizens, governing organisations and pubic life, in all their varied manifestations.
CCIG now has a dedicated research project, Creating Publics. The Creating Publics project looks afresh at how research can play a role in the mediation and generation of publics. It is inspired by contemporary research into the dynamics of public formation and the proliferation of innovative forms of public mediation. Between 2011-2014 this project will explore and test-out more horizontal and interactive ways of relating social science research and public practices.
Additionally, examples below highlight just some of the different ways that CCIG's public engagement work is being realised.