Since its creation in 1994 as a state-of-the art technological university with a highly innovative learning model, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC, Open University of Catalonia) is one of the world’s premier online Higher Education universities, now engaging more than 50,000 students. The UOC’s core goal is to be the ‘university of the knowledge society’, promoting innovative education, personalised learning, technological leadership, R&D work on the information society and eLearning. The UOC’s research centre, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), specialises in the study of the Internet and the effects of the interaction between digital technologies and human activity.
Our research group at IN3-UOC, the Urban Transformation and Global Change Laboratory (TURBA), focuses on unpacking new models of production, consumption and political organization in the Network Society, that go beyond the city in itself. Our aim is to investigate and provide a nuanced understanding of how the urban is and can be re-configured and transformed by new socio-technological configurations to confront the global change we are facing.
One of the TURBA research lines is the co-production of knowledge on sustainability-related issues that examines processes of collaborative creation of knowledge in digital as well as non-digital environments for a myriad of purposes related to urban transformation towards sustainability, and with a focus on social innovation. We analyse education practices at schools and universities, citizen science projects and other learning and teaching initiatives in informal contexts, as well as citizens’ participation in formal decision-making processes to provide critical insights into the political, ecological, social and cultural dimensions of learning and co-production.