Society > Tech | Grassroots & Community Innovation

Thu 11 Mar 2021
17:00 - 18:30
Online Event

About the event

Society > Tech | Grassroots & Community Innovation image

How do we innovate for social need? How can tech effectively support community groups?

What can we learn from the experiences of other communities who have grappled with these issues?

How can we make innovation spaces like the FuseBox more responsive to community needs?

If you're involved in innovation or community activity, or both, then we welcome you to listen and participate in what promises to be a fascinating discussion between the co-author of Grassroots Innovation Movements, Professor Adrian Smith and Indie Hackers Community Manager, Rosie Sherry.

This roundtable is part of a series of events to explore the impact that University of Sussex social science research can have in the real world.

This event is for you if:

  • You run a tech or social change community.
  • You're interested in how society impacts and influences tech, and vice versa.
  • You want to find out more about making better tech products and services for society.
  • You'd like to learn more about collaborating with academics and tech companies.

The discussion will be on what lessons we can learn from self-organised communities who engage with and adapt tech to suit their aims.

Our Speakers

Rosie Sherry is the founder of the Ministry of Testing, the world's largest community of software testers, an amazing organisation which supports developers and helps them to change, share and improve their craft.

She’s a big believer in doing things ethically and is fascinated by the world of community, also taking on the role of Community Manager at Indie Hackers. She’ll bring her experience of creating tech communities to the discussion, 'Community isn’t about one person leading, it’s the person to person relationships that cultivates community.'

Professor Adrian Smith is Professor of Technology and Society at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. He'll discuss the lessons we can learn from self-organised communities who engage with and adapt tech to suit their aims as explored in the book: Grassroots Innovation Movements, with examples of communities using tech for good from all over the world.

​Watch Professor Adrian Smith present his work on this topic here.

Watch Rosie Sherry and Professor Adrian Smith in conversation here.

Join in and ask your questions live via the livestream or email in advance (

About this series

This series of events is a joint University of Sussex and Wired Sussex initiative and was made possible thanks to funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

We want to look beyond Silicon Valley to try and develop more effective and socially useful approaches to technology innovation.

We're linking three digital entrepreneurs with three academics from the University of Sussex, to discuss with tech innovators and purpose-driven communities how they might integrate approaches derived from university research into their practices.