KWest Research

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Information
Contact: 

Host Organization: Leinster House Partnership Ltd at Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC)Location: Knowle West Media Centre, Leinster Avenue, Knowle West, Bristol BS4 1 NLTel: 0117 903 0444 Website: www.kwmc.org.ukContact - Carolyn Hassan, carolyn@kwmc.org.uk, 0117 353 2747

 

 

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UK

Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) works with the community to develop the creative, educational and social potential of people within the surrounding area. We produce high-quality film, design and media work, provide exciting experiences for young people and run a diverse programme of arts activities. KWMC is committed to social and digital inclusion and works with a wide range of organisations, individuals and artists to produce media content and explore the role of media arts in communities. Mission/objectives of the KWest living lab at Knowle West Media Centre:

- To establish an independent, sustainable, effective, environmentally and socially conscious living lab based in the south Bristol community of Knowle West.

- To deliver the benefits of real-world testing, appraisal, development and design of products and services by a range of clearly defined sets of genuine consumers.

- To deliver community development through (i) individual indirect learning and skills development through participation, (ii) individual skills development through specific training to meet the needs of individual projects, (iii) community cohesion through joint participation and collective action, (iv) by developing new links, connections and networks for the community and participants into organisations locally, nationally and internationally.

- To produce economic development (i) through establishing new roles to manage and develop the living lab, (ii) increasing the demand for services to support the living lab, (iii) promoting the benefits of product and service development to businesses and service providers. 

 - To stimulate the development of new business ideas through the activities of the lab and support economic growth in South Bristol.

- To provide a model for other developing Living Labs.

 - To raise the profile of the Knowle West Media Centre and support sustained innovative practice.

Description

Activity is concentrated on the Knowle West community of 5,500 council homes, where KWMC's strongest relationships exist. KWMC is locally focussed with a national reputation. Projects are commissioned by a wide range of government, voluntary and public sector organisations, from local groups to national organisations.It is important for KWMC that its socially and environmentally conscious approach to its work, and its focus on the local community and the development of that community through direct and indirect learning through the use of media, form an integral part of its offering as KWest living lab.  

Current Living Lab projects include The Digital Environment Home Energy Management System (DEHEMS) project, which started in June 2008. It is led by Manchester City Council and supported by the EU under Framework Programme 7. The aim is to improve the current monitoring approach to levels of energy used by households and reduce CO2 emissions across Europe.Twenty households from the Knowle West area of Bristol were involved in Cycle 1 and given energy meters for their homes. Participant feedback and ideas from this phase have helped to structure Cycle 2 this year. Fifty users have been able to view their energy consumption live through an online interface and also compare against other DEHEMS users. Of this number, 15 participants have also been given individual appliance monitoring (Plugwise) equipment which highlights potential energy wasting items. A focus group and surveys carried out for Cycle 2 will also help give further insights into people’s behaviour regarding energy savings and will help develop further improvements for Cycle 3.Knowle West Media Centre services:- Project design, creation, development, management, delivery, evaluation, reporting and presentation of findings across a variety of media including video case studies.

- Outreach and engagement with local residents, businesses and organisations.

- Engagement and management of suitably skilled delivery staff.

- Training, meeting, workshop and showcase facilities, graphic design, film/video production, photography and video & sound editing suites. Links to related organisations provided for presentation to a wider audience.

- Technical management with an internal media and IT systems and equipment manager and supporting staff.

- Stakeholder engagement.  Primary stakeholders and values created

- Knowle West Media Centre – Innovation, creativity, high production values, socially and environmentally conscious.

- Bristol City Council – Effective service delivery, new ways of engaging communities in decision making. Promoting environmental and digital credentials of City internationally

- Connecting Bristol (and DC10 Plus) – Networks, exchange and dissemination.

- Knowle West community – value for money, clarity, community expression.

- Citizens Online – digital inclusion

- South West Regional Development Agency - economic development, sustainability.

- Creative and Cultural industry – quality, professionalism, new technologies and techniques.

References and Track Record

KWMC has delivered many living lab style projects over its 16 year history. KWMC’s reputation for innovation and its ability to engage and communicate with its local community has lead to a significant interest from local and national government in using KWMC to develop new mechanisms for service delivery. Likewise private sector organisations have expressed interest in breaking new technology into the local community via KWMC and evaluating the response.

This work has developed strong links in the local community and high levels of participation across all age ranges. Projects have been delivered for, and in partnership with, a wide range of organisations from public, private and voluntary sectors. The creative approach and high production and delivery values have produced award winning work and has established KWMC with a national reputation for quality and innovation. Significant results and impact generated:

■    Knowle West Web – a partnership project. Installation of free wireless Internet and recycled computers in Knowle and Knowle West. 400 homes enabled through wireless connectivity.

■    Archimedia and young person involvement delivered the new KWMC building – reference Creating Excellence ( CE Dominic Murphy)

■    Carbon Makeover community generated Passbooks leading to further development of community generated passbook materials.

■    Community Communication Project – Community Website and Community Newsletter

■    Young participation in Higher Education report: a sociocultural study of educational engagement in Bristol South parliamentary constituency commissioned by Dawn Primarolo, MP. (Influential report by Lyn Raphael Reed with case studies indicating success of informal learning as delivered by KWMC)