[iDC] introductions

Mark Graham mark.graham at oii.ox.ac.uk
Mon Jun 9 11:15:12 UTC 2014

Hi everyone,

I’d like to introduce myself (Mark Graham) and three of my colleagues (Isis
Hjorth, Helena Barnard, and Vili Lehdonvirta).

Dr Isis Hjorth <http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/?id=169> is a cultural
sociologist focusing on emerging practices associated with networked
technologies. In her PhD thesis - “Networked Cultural Production:
Filmmaking in the Wreckamovie Community" (Hjorth, 2014) - Isis examined the
conventions guiding the division of digital labour in crowdsourced films,
and developed a typology of labour orientations. She is now engaged with
research on paid crowdsourcing and online work in low-income countries,
working as as one of four researchers on the project "Microwork and Virtual
Production Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia”.

Since obtaining her PhD in Management from Rutgers University, Prof Helena
has been working at GIBS, University of Pretoria, in South Africa. Her
research interests are in how knowledge (and with it technology,
organisational practices and innovation) moves from more to less developed
countries. She focuses both on organisational mechanisms (notably emerging
multinationals) and individual mechanisms, especially the diaspora and
scientific collaborations. The digital world is transforming how
cross-national contact at both the organisational and individual levels
takes place, and she is increasingly investigating how digitally-enabled
processes and labour change engagement between high, middle and low income

Dr *Vili Lehdonvirta* <http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/?id=320> is an
economic sociologist and Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute.
His research focuses on the social, technical, and institutional
underpinnings of digitally mediated markets, especially markets for online
games, virtual currencies, and digital labour, and also on the social
consequences of these markets. His book, *Virtual Economies: Design and
Analysis* <http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/virtual-economies> (with Edward
Castronova) has just been published by MIT Press. His earlier publications
include a report on the *market for microwork and game labour*
<http://www.infodev.org/infodev-files/resource/InfodevDocuments_1056.pdf> and
a qualitative study of *microworkers' occupational identity*
In terms of research approach, Lehdonvirta likes to mix observation and
interviews with quantitative analyses of survey and log data.

I'm <http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/?id=165> an Associate Professor at the
Oxford Internet Institute and a geographer whose work is broadly trying to
understand the difference that connectivity makes at the world’s economic
margins. I have previously studied topics like the geographies of voice,
participation, and representation on Wikipedia (e.g. in *this paper*
the *role of changing connectivity*
<http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/research/projects/?id=59> in the BPO sectors of
Kenya and Rwanda, and the *broader geographies of digital and augmented
content* <http://geography.oii.ox.ac.uk/?page=home> (here is a *link to a
recent BBC talk* <http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0435j93> I gave on the
topic). At the moment, I’m working on two broad projects. First, a three
year project on “*microwork and virtual production networks*
<http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/research/projects/?id=119>” (this is what we’ll be
speaking about in the New York conference). Second, a *five-year project on
‘knowledge economies’ in Sub-Saharan Africa.*
<http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/research/projects/?id=120> Here we plan to look at
both micro tasks like call centres and microwork and rise of the quaternary
sector as it is manifested through activities like web-development and
mediated through institutions like ’innovation hubs.’ The ultimate point of
all of this work is to better understand who benefits and who doesn’t from
changing affordances and practices of digitally-mediated connectivity.

Looking forward to continuing in New York.
Mark (and Isis, Helena, and Vili)

Dr Mark Graham

Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow
Oxford Internet Institute
University of Oxford

Research Fellow
Green Templeton College
University of Oxford

Visiting Research Associate
School of Geography and the Environment
University of Oxford

oii.ox.ac.uk/people/graham <http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/people/graham> |
geospace.co.uk <http://www.geospace.co.uk> | Information Geographies
<http://geography.oii.ox.ac.uk> | wikichains.org <http://www.wikichains.org>
 | @geoplace <http://twitter.com/geoplace> | zerogeography blog
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