Making Change

Making Change was a collaborative research project between the Centre for Digital Cultures and the Hivos Knowledge Programme (October 2013–September 2015) that questioned traditional understandings of social change in the Global South and aimed to build more adequate frameworks to address the idea of change in the context of common knowledge, networked media and information societies.

Making Change called for a critical understanding of change that allows us to recognize new forms, functions and methods of change practices, with an emphasis on tactical media and digital interventions. The project collected these multiple und diverse experiences through conversations, interviews and on-the-ground collaborations with different groups and communities in emerging information societies. The purpose of the project was to identify processes of change as part of the Global South discourse, and create prototypes for a knowledge commons that facilitate the creation, exchange and integration of knowledge, thereby affecting and initiating processes of social and political change in the region.

Making Change was hosting production-oriented workshops called “Production Sprints” to facilitate the convergence of actors and ideas. These sprints did not have a traditional conference structure where knowledge is imparted, but had been spaces of knowledge exchange between change-makers around processes, narratives and experiences of change. Making use of multi-modal forms and formats of knowledge production (text, image, audio, etc), participants were asked to group around four topics: crises, ecologies, infrastructures, and networks of change. In June 2014 the first Production Sprint with participants from Southeast Asia took place in Bangalore; and in February 2015 the second Production Sprint with participants from Latin America took place in Bogotá.

Project coordination: Nishant Shah

Principal investigators: Clemens Apprich, Oliver Lerone Schultz

Knowledge Commons

In order to address the question of social change in emerging network societies, this project relied on traditional as well as experimental forms of collaborative, participatory and engaged knowledge generation to build a ‘Knowledge Commons’. The Knowledge Commons is a hybrid (online-offline) repository that intelligently aggregates and translates knowledge around related areas into different forms, formats and products, through human and technological, individual and collective interventions. Building on the conceptual frameworks developed during the Production Sprints, the Knowledge Commons are constructed through inclusive network participation, innovative curatorial practices, and prototypes of knowledge production geared towards learning, capacity building and training for the different actors involved in the change ecologies.

Liquid Books

Working with the metaphor of water, Liquid books are containers that allow for knowledge in different forms to come together and become consolidated. Mash-up of formats, mixed and multi-media inputs, and different textures of knowledge are all collected, whetted through a collaborative review process at the Production Sprints and then produced as visual, interactive book-like objects which can be used for capacity building, awareness and education.

Visual Folios

‘Making Vision!’ is exploring in an exemplary fashion the field of vision and visioning in the context of social change practices, also using it as an exemplary field to explore and probe the re-configured modalities of networked media spheres in general. This endeavor will be addressed in a sub strand of the Making Change project, that is consisting of different elements, processes and structures, commonly pooled under the heading ‘making vision!’.


“spheres: Journal for Digital Cultures” is an open peer reviewed web journal run by members of the Centre for Digital Cultures at Leuphana University of Lüneburg and supported by an international advisory board. It is concerned with contemporary, historical and emerging discussions about ‘Digital Cultures’ and exploring the theoretical, political and social stakes within these debates by reassembling key concepts like public spheres, media spheres and atmospheres. more