That’s it…we’re open for business! Connected Practice was officially launched by GSSW & IRISS on the 18th of February 2009. The launch participants were a broad cross-section of people from our community of interest including: social work academics, public sector IT managers, civil servants, NHS (Knowledge Services Group), Scottish Social Services Learning Networks and others. The discussion was vibrant and wide-ranging. We gave two short presentations. Neil introduced Connected Practice, the idea of the network society, and outlined several broad questions that the work of Connected Practice would attempt to address:
- What are the implications of the network society for social services (e.g. the impact on social networks & social capital)?
- How are social services responding to new forms of networked social solidarity & new forms of social disorder?
- What new networked techniques and processes are emerging to organise, manage & deliver social services (e.g. internal business processes & customer facing service delivery)?
- What new opportunities & risks are there for citizens & users of social services?
I described a bid we’ve made for an international research symposium submitted to the Institute for Advanced Studies. If the bid is successful we’ll host a two week long event in the Autumn of 2009: the first week will bring together leading international researchers on the network society to share current thinking and work together on an international research agenda; the second week would engage social services policy makers, practitioners & service users exploring policy and practice issues.
The Institute for Advanced studies is itself an very significant initiative bridging academic research and real world policy issues. In the coming weeks they are hosting a programme on Surveillance & Society in the 21st Century organised by Professor Mike Nellis.
The slides used at the launch event are available below: