Time flies when you’re exploring how to connect young people to data through performance, eh?
It’s been some months since I finished the first stage of researching and developing Inquisitive Narratives. After I gently closed that chapter, and got the benefit of distance to look back at it all, a few things have become clearer. And, of course, a few things are still foggy mysteries, lurking in the half-light and waiting to be explored.
Here are the key things occupying my brain right now…
There’s so much creative potential in data…
I know, I’m hardly the first person to notice this. But…honestly. It’s ridiculous. I sat with a group of creative practitioners at the end of last year, and we spent two hours looking at dental data and had an absolute blast. There were posters!
…and so much I still don’t know
One of the most overwhelming aspects of the whole project was realising that data is a complicated, vast subject which no one person can be an expert in. Trying to create clear messages for young folk, while adding in layers of caveats and trying to remain impartial while understanding you have to curate the information in order to make it manageable…it’s a lot.
But, it’s also very inspiring. In fact, I’m going to be going back to big school in September and studying for an MSc at the Edinburgh Futures Institute to try and get some depth to my knowledge. I’ll be a student again! But with fewer parties and more trying to organise the school run than the first time round. Can. Not. Wait.
This project needs structure
So you know what I said up there about data being vast and overwhelming? Turns out, it’s also overwhelming to consider the next stages of this project. It could be a show, a workshop in schools. It could be a training programme, or it could be quietly placed in a drawer to be forgotten about.
However, the future structure became clearer when I realised one key issue…
This is an ethical issue
I mean, most things are ethical issues. But, for this? It really is.
Giving young people insight into the data which is held about them is an ethical issue. Choosing how to represent that data is an ethical issue. Working out who to take money from to do this is an ethical issue, and so is finding well paid employment and training opportunities for a sector which is plagued by inequality.
At it’s core, Inquisitive Narratives could empower young people. Fuel social justice, and allow more informed decisions to be made, both in terms of data which is held about them, and what young people choose to share. It can help them back up their protests, understand when (and why) they’re being manipulated and support them in creating the world they deserve.
Inquisitive Narratives is going to become a Social Enterprise
Ta dah! An actual plan with edges, just like I wanted.
It’s still in the early stages of planning, but this project is going to become a Social Enterprise, offering services including:
- Training for Creative Practitioners who want to know more about communicating data
- A service for organisations who want to creatively communicate their data to children and young people.
- Events and workshops about communicating data which can be used for social justice
- Resources for groups working with young people around the data which affects them.
Sounds good, right? RIGHT? Right.