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Disruptive Technologies

What do we mean?

Disruptive technologies describes how tools which transform how people use the web/mobile create a tension whereby they are adopted very quickly by users, disrupt ways of working, but leave organisations unable to adapt their systems and culture to these new technologies.

Why are we researching this?

As part of the Council’s Future Challenges agenda, we need to explore how
disruptive technologies can help design services around people and communities and tackle the perceptions of people so they can “think global and act local’ in addressing complex environmental, physical & social issues.

How are we going to research this?

We want to map the existing online community landscape – using innovative techniques like social network analysis, metadata and social graphing. Engage with groups where changing behaviours is a particular issue, such as in Shepway, Dover, Thanet and build on existing projects .

What are we going to research?


We will monitor social networks on a much more local level, using tools which
analyse, enable people to share stories of places and share sensor data from objects where they are. We will test tools which help people turn local involvement into community insight, turn individual needs into community solutions, bring together people to mobilise for better deals and be rewarded for using their social networks to help others find jobs.

What does the analysis show us?

Changing behaviours describes how individuals influence each other and how
they can use this understanding to persuade the public to take actions that improve the wellbeing of the community. If people’s friends engage in good/bad practices, they are more likely to engage in them than they are if the council tells them to. Seeding localised groups with certain ideas or behaviours can lead these to cascade across entire networks.

What do we want to achieve?

Where people will be much more anxious on what will help them through the recession, they will rely more on information from their friends, family & colleagues. We want to explore how we can harness social pressure so they can improve their wellbeing, how we can support staff with the tools to influence their users.

How can you be involved?

If you are researchers/consultants, we would like to explore how we could map together how disruptive tools can influence behaviours in a pilot. If you are online community/social entrepreneurs developing this, we would like to explore how we could test these out with a group of staff or citizens on a particular issue. If you are organisations in sectors who have used these tools, we would like to share the learning and explore opportunities for collaboration.

Noel Hatch

Thank you to iLoveButter for photo (top right: examples of new technology replacing old) published on Flickr under Creative Commons licence, some rights reserved.
Thank you to Steve Wilhelm for photo (bottom left: everyday technology- compact camera, mobile phone, mp3 player, and a digital watch) ) published on Flickr under Creative Commons licence, some rights reserved.
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