Tag: Stefania Milan

Stefania contributing to ‘Social Impact of Alpha and Gamma Sciences’ (@ScienceWorks)

Thursday, December 7, 2017 – Stefania Milan is one of the speakers at the fourth edition of the annual “Alfa Gamma Valorization Congress”. With the presentation of the National Science Agenda, in which alpha-gamma science plays a key role, the event will renew its impact on society.

During the conference, participants and speakers from science, government and business will discuss Social Challenges for Scientific Research. The conference will focus on how we can optimize synergy between societal issues and alpha / gamma sciences, addressing the following questions:

– How can we successfully shape cooperation between society and science?
– What roles can researchers and their social partners take?
– What is demand management at (inter) national, regional and local level?


About ScienceWorks

ScienceWorks supports the process of value creation out of scientific research for society. Our approach is to draw on the expertise of sector experts and to apply good practices from around the world. Value creation out of scientific research contributes to our economy and society. We help to optimize this process through the correct use of instruments and to support new connections.

The fields we are active in:
Transferring scientific knowledge to society
Improving processes of value creation out of scientific research
Optimizing the regional innovation system
Internationalization of high tech clusters
Ranking and measuring the impact of university knowledge transfer
Analyzing and supporting science based incubators & science parks

Connecting to the Masses – 100 Years from the Russian Revolution @IIHS with Stefania & Lonneke

Internetional Institute for Social History in Amsterdam

Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 9:00 AM –
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:00 PM

Together with Athina Karatzogianni and Andrey Rezaev, Stefania Milan organises ‘Connecting to the Masses – 100 Years from the Russion Revolution: From Agitprop to the Attention Economy’. The two-day event will be helt November 13th to the 14th at the International Institute for Social History and the University of Amsterdam. Lonneke van der Velden will be present ‘Daguerrotypes of protest: the Paris Commune’s media activism and present-day ‘social media revolutions’ on Day two. For more information about the schedule and tickets, check the eventbrite page.

About the two-day event

The relationship between governments and the people they govern has been always hostage to rhetoric, propaganda, and strategic public relations, as well as aggressive marketing and the influence of contemporary media industries, altering the dynamics of healthy political communications. Often, this relationship has thrived on charismatic leaders, the “avant-garde”, who could feel the pulse of their population’s grievances, demands and hopes for the future. Whether the Russian revolution of 1917 is interpreted as a product of class struggle, as an event governed by historic laws predetermined by the alienation of the masses by monopoly industrial capitalism, or as a violent coup by a proto-totalitarian Bolshevik party, the Russian revolutionaries understood and connected to the masses in a way that the autocracy, bourgeois elites and reformists alike failed to do.

In the midst of rage, desperation and harsh everyday life conditions, due to the pressure and failures of WW1 against Germany, food shortages, growing poverty, inequality and alienation, the Bolsheviks felt the undercurrents in the seas of history and spoke to the people, exactly when the relationship between the Tsar and the population, and between the Provisional government and the Soviets were at a crucial tipping point. The Bolsheviks grasped the opportunity to change the world for themselves in the here and now, rather than waiting to reform in the future for their children. They did so violently and unapologetically with the effects of their move running through the Cold War and the confrontation with the West, all the way to the complex and intense relations between Russia and the United States, in terms of failed engagements of the past 25 years since the fall of the USSR, the first socialist state in the world.

About the organisers

The conference is organised through a collaboration between Athina Karatzogianni from the School of Media, Communication and Sociology of the University of Leicester; Stefania Milan from the DATACTIVE research group at the Media Studies department of the University of Amsterdam; Andrey Rezaev from the Department of Sociology at St. Petersburg State University; the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam; and the State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki.


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Keynote: Stefania at the Data Power conference 2017

Stefania Milan will be one of the keynote speakers at the Data Power conference, june 22nd & 23rd, 2017, a two-day, international conference organized by Carleton and Sheffield universities.

Data Power 2017 follows the successful 2015 conference, held in the UK. The conference focuses on critical questions about data’s power, reflecting on the social and cultural consequences of data becoming increasingly pervasive in our lives. From the internet of things to smart cities, from surveillance to global finance, data (and data infrastructures) shape our lives, as information is generated, collected and analysed through the apps we use, in ways that are both obvious and imperceptible: black-boxed algorithms and opaque systems are used to profile and sort us, direct our spending and travel, and monitor our actions.

Find her closing presentation on Data-logies: The conditions of possibility for democratic agency in the datafied society

Stefania joins panel on Challenging surveillance activism in a datafied world at Ryerson University

Stefania Milan will join a panel discussion on activism around issues of Data and Surveillance on June 19. The event is hosted by the Global Communication Governance Lab and sponsored by the Ryerson School of Creative Industries, in Toronto, Canada.

To attend the event, please subscribe at Eventbrite. Panelists include:

Arne Hintz, Senior Lecturer, School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University
Stefania Milan, Associate Professor of New Media and Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam
Evan Light, Assistant Professor, Glendon College, York University

About the speaker series

The CREA T.O. Speaker Series invites leading global thinkers to Toronto to discuss their new books and cutting edge experiences with the Ryerson Community and wider public.

Stefania at the Summer Seminar “Surveillance in the Big Data Era”

On June 21st, Stefania will deliver a lecture at the Surveillance Studies Summer Seminar of the Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario on June 15-21.

Surveillance in the Big Data Era

This year’s theme is Surveillance in the Big Data Era. Big Data practices mean that personal data are no longer collected for certain limited, specific and transparent purposes. Rather, Big Data jumps ahead, obtaining bulk data before determining their actual and potential uses and mobilizing algorithms and analytics to predict and intervene before behaviours, events and processes are set in train. Preemptive approaches are a bureaucratic incentive to over-collect data in security and law enforcement. At the same time, promises abound that real-time data analytics will transform aspects of retail, manufacturing, health care and public sector organizations. Some promises may be fulfilled, but what will this mean for democratic freedoms, privacy and the role of information in contemporary life? Bruce Schneier has also suggested that ‘Big Data’ be considered like ‘Big Oil’ or ‘Big Pharma’ – as a political economic category, a key part of what Shoshana Zuboff is calling ‘surveillance capitalism.’ Together, Big Data and Surveillance are transforming our personal, social, cultural, political, economic and ecological worlds, and there is an urgent need for this to be addressed in every sphere and at every level.


Keynote: Stefania on digitalisation and doctoral education at the EUA-CDE conference

June 15, Tallinn,  Stefania Milan will be the keynote speaker at the 10th conference of the European University Association/Council for Doctoral Education (the organisation of universities and national rectors’ conferences in Europe), dedicated to “Digitalisation: A game changer for doctoral education?”.

Her session is entitled ‘Digitalisation of Society, the Role of Universities and its Impact on Doctoral Education and Research’. More specifically, she will reflect on “the role of universities in accompanying society in addressing the challenges of digitalisation and on the more specific issues facing doctoral schools as they seek to integrate digital approaches. How can universities provide doctoral candidates with the digital skills they need to advance their research and their careers?”. For more info see the website of the EUA-CDE.

About the EUA-CDE Annual Meeting

The 10th edition of the EUA-CDE Annual Meeting highlights the impact of digitalisation on the role and practice of doctoral education. Societies in general, and universities in particular are facing a transformation brought by the proliferation of digital technologies. For universities, this requires considering the impact of digitalisation on their different missions and doctoral education has an essential role to play given the crucial role of doctoral candidates and early-stage researchers in ensuring the base for knowledge production in the digital era.

The meeting will highlight different perspectives on the changing role of doctoral education in the context of digitalisation, offering concrete examples across different disciplines to show how doctoral schools are adapting their practices to keep up with digitalisation. Doctoral candidates and early-stage researchers find themselves at the forefront of the digital transformation of research and the skills they acquire will be essential for their future careers, be they in academia or in key positions in other fields. The meeting will also explore how universities can develop policies to support and guide young researchers in their endeavours in a coherent and responsible manner.

“Big data ¿para qué?”: Stefania at ImpactHub Donostia

“Big data”, ¿para qué?. No te pierdas a Stefania Milan (@annliffey), invitada del Programa Experto “Análisis, investigación y comunicación de datos” de la Universidad de Deusto, el lunes 5 de junio, de 18:00 a 19:30 en el espacio Impact Hub, Donostia de Tabakalera. ¿Qué son los big data y cómo se usan? ¿A quién pertenecen? Estamos en una sociedad “datificada”, es decir, casi toda nuestra actividad, tanto offline como online, se traduce en grandes volúmenes de datos y metadatos, que son almacenados y analizados en tiempo real por gobiernos y grandes corporaciones. Muchos entre los primeros lo hacen para darnos mejores servicios públicos y protegernos, pero también vigilarnos y perpetuarse en el poder; los segundos pretenden mejorar sus productos y responder a las necesidades individualizadas de las personas, pero también quieren aumentar sus beneficios. Sin embargo, existen otros usos de las infraestructuras de datos. La sociedad civil está cada vez más utilizándolas para generar cambio social y discursos alternativos. Os animamos a participar en un interesante debate con Stefania Milan –una experta en tecnologías de los movimientos sociales de la Universidad de Amsterdam—sobre los retos y las oportunidades que presentan los big data.

Video: Stefania on “redefining citizenship” (ICA pre-conference)

Stefania couldn’t make it to ‘Data and the Future of Critical Social Research’, a pre-conference to the the 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association. Organized by Andreas Hepp and Nick Couldry, the pre-conference took place on May 25 in San Diego, CA. The organizers, however, allowed Stefania to be present in spirit and… video. This is the presentation prepared for the event; below the abstract.


Abstract: Redefining citizenship. For a socio-technical theory of agency in datafied societies by Stefania Milan

Datafication has brought about a fundamental paradigm shift in the contemporary socio-political order. Information has become the one constitutive force in society capable to shape social reality (Braman, 2009). On the one hand, the advent of ‘big data’ has altered our conditions of existence in society. On the other, the crisis that has infected liberal democracy at the turn of the century has been accelerated by the so-called ‘surveillance capitalism’, and democratic norms are challenged by the new expression of power enshrined in the global architecture of data extraction, commodification, and control (Zuboff, 2015). The state-industry surveillant complex, replacing governments as the primary holder of the monopoly over information and control, recursively engages in exercises of definition and activation of the ‘algorithmic citizenship’ (Cheney-Lippold, 2011). This distributed ‘algorithmic power’ has generative properties that leave little room for human agency (Lash, 2007). Linked databases, platforms and apps—the information architecture of datafication—are changing the definition of what constitutes public sphere and participation in the datafied society. Hence we ought to ask what constitutes democratic agency today. How is its nature changing? What practices create or jeopardize it? What makes collectivity nowadays? But also: Who are the drivers of the on-going process of redefinition of citizenship? What sort of spaces, mechanisms, and actors meet the growing demand for citizen participation? How does this redefinition of citizenship change institutions themselves?

This theoretical contribution addresses three notions, namely ‘data citizenship’, ‘data activism’ (Milan & van der Velden, 2016) and ‘data epistemology’. Taking data and datafication simultaneously as objects of contentions and elements of a novel politics of the quotidian, and exploring forms of resilience and mobilization as democratic processes, the presentation explores how contemporary engagement with grassroots and top-down data politics and practices alters the way people enact their democratic agency. While the lack of transparency and the threats to privacy negatively alter the trust relation between people and the ruling institutions, emerging data practices have the ability to carve out space for a new relationship, giving new meaning to the notion of democratic agency and forcing us to rethink the relationship between the state and its citizens. Data citizenship, data activism and data epistemology are offered as the building blocks of an emerging socio-technical theory of agency in the datafied society, needed to meet the ontological challenges datafication poses to established socio-political practices in Western democracies.

Cited works

Braman, S. (2009). Change of state: Information, policy, and power. MIT Press.

Cheney-Lippold, J. (2011). A New Algorithmic Identity Soft Biopolitics and the Modulation of Control. Theory, Culture & Society, 28(6), 164–181.

Lash, S. (2007). Power after hegemony: Cultural studies in mutation. Theory, Culture & Society, 24(3), 55–78.

Milan, S., & van der Velden, L. (2016). The alternative epistemologies of data activism. Digital Culture & Society, 2(2), 57–74.

Zuboff, S. (2015). Big Other: Surveillance Capitalism and the Prospects of an Information Civilization. Journal of Information Technology, 30(1), 75–89.

Stefania at #SIF17

On May 15-17, Stefania is in Stockholm to attend the Stockholm Internet Forum (SIF) 2017.
SIF an international forum discussing how a free, open and secure internet promotes human rights and development worldwide. With a focus on the global South, the event brings together policymakers, activists, as well as the business and technical community. This year’s theme is “access and power”, and building on the Swedish feminist foreign policy there will be a strong focus on gender equality. SIF debates many topics of interest to DATACTIVE, including for example digital identity, responsible data, smart cities and the platform economy. Stefania will participate in the meetings of the Freedom Online Coalition, as a member of the Working Group 1 “An Internet Free and Secure”, and engage in data collection.

Stefania at ‘DATA POWER: activisms/appropriations/aesthetics’ at UCL

Stefania Milan will participate in the Data Power Workshop, the 15th of May at the University College London.

About the conference:

Data is simultaneously the ultimate solution and the ultimate threat. On the one hand, big data is framed as a means to reach deeper, more real truths about the world and about people. On the other, framing data as an infinite economic and administrative resource undergirds the extractive machinery of control that characterises the state/corporate data industry. Data is captured, harvested and mined for ‘insights’, and these insights are understood not only to give deeper access to reality, but as being imbued with new forms of economic value and political control in their own right. Thus your data knows you better than you know yourself, and this knowledge produces value/power beyond your reach: data power.

Many critical artists, data scholars, and activists are working, in different ways, to better understand and creatively re-work this form of data power. However, so far there has been little space for dialogue between these practitioners. There has been even less space for these approaches to be thought alongside and with data and computer scientists. In this workshop, we are bringing together artists, activists, data scientists, art historians, data visualisation experts, information theorists, sociologists and anthropologists, in order to generate new conversations and new framings for data.

We want to flesh out a trans-disciplinary critical language that does not just re-inscribe the divide between the quantitative and the qualitative. We want to shape new questions that need to be asked about ethics, aesthetics, representation, power, and method. We want to explore data, big and otherwise, as a site for methodological experimentation, social activism, artistic intervention, and critical, creative engagement.

DATA POWER is a collaboration between Centre for Digital Anthropology, University College London and the Centre for Social Data Science, University of Copenhagen