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You are invited to participate in the Transcultural Data Pact


Many generations have passed since the “Dread Isolation”. Two nations with shared ancestry and clashing beliefs meet to trade their unique technologies.

Join us for the research workshop that is also a game where we use roleplay to explore how personal and collective data practices and devices might shape the attitudes and fortunes of a society? 

There are two sessions available to UK-based players:
13.30 – 16.30 BST
15 and 16 July 2020

Participation is free
Book by 5th July to secure your place

Participants will each receive one of two devices in the post, and will be given different roles to play as delegates in a fictional trade negotiation. In this first meeting on record, and with minimal knowledge of each other’s cultures, the people of Ourland and New Bluestead must use their devices to communicate with each other and to agree to the terms of a technology and data-culture exchange.

What do they have to offer? How will they decide what they want and what is in their best interests?

What freedoms might they sacrifice, what insights might they gain?

How might they adapt a foreign technology to their own needs, and how might they understand the risks involved?

This is an invitation to participate in Transcultural Data Pact, a research event that is also a  game of serious make believe. We welcome you to a future historic event and clash of data-cultures. 

The event will take place online in Zoom and will last for about 2.5 hours. 

In exchange for your time you get to exercise your creative agency, contributing to the ideation of future technologies for live personal data.  You might even discover new meanings in your personal data!

All participants will receive a £20 voucher for their contribution to the research.  

There are two sessions available:
13.30 – 16.30 BST
15 and 16 July 2020

This is an open invitation to all. No experience in role-playing games is necessary. Booking is essential


13.20 – 13.30 Arrive in Zoom and sign in

13.30 – Introduction

13.40 – 16.00 Nations Technology Exchange Live Action Role Play

16.00 – 16.30 Debrief, reflection and survey

For any enquiries, please email

In 2019 the “extreme users” discussed their hopes for future technology. They dreamed of:

 ‘a reporting product, which is flexible, intelligent, perhaps there’s some AI may be in there.’

‘ to know what the government gets and also how trustworthy they are.’

About the project

Findings contribute to a research paper about Human-Computer Interaction (CHI).

The Transcultural Data Pact is a Qualified Selves research event that uses data objects to stretch people’s imagination about the collection and usage of their own data to investigate personal and collective data devices and practices that add real value.

Qualified Selves is a joint project between Lancaster and Edinburgh Universities. Improving how individuals make sense of data management (from social media to activity trackers to home IoT devices) in order to enhance personal decision making, increase productivity, and improve their quality of life. Its novel approach to co-design and co-creation has supported the development of new prototypes to help think about tracking data in different ways.

Transcultural Data Pact is created by Ruth Catlow (Furtherfield/DECAL) with Dr Kruakae Pothong, Billy Dixon, Dr Evan Morgan and Prof. Chris Speed from Edinburgh University, in collaboration with Kate Genevieve.

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