gillian-smallerProfessor Gillian Youngs has been awarded the first ever John Urry fellowship and we warmly welcome her and her research to Lancaster.

Gillian is currently Dean of Arts and Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. Her previous role was Professor of Creative and Digital Economy and Head of Innovation and Impact in the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design, University of Westminster, UK. She works on innovation at the intersections of the start-up and research sectors and has a background in media, communications consultancy, and research and academic leadership. She has taught and undertaken research at universities in Europe, the USA and East Asia and is one of the longest standing researchers in the UK on the impact of internet developments on economy and society.

As an applied theorist, she is actively engaged in knowledge exchange and business and policy related processes, including through the Knowledge Transfer Network of the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. Projects Gillian has recently led include: an ESRC research seminar series on Digital Policy and edited collection from the series titled Digital World: Connectivity, Creativity and Rights published by Routledge in 2013; a role as co-chair of the AHRC-funded Design Commission inquiry ‘Designing the Digital Economy: Embedding Growth Through Design, Innovation and Technology’, which reported in May 2014:

Gillian has been engaged with Innovate UK’s Digital Catapult Centre since its launch and while Professor of Digital Economy at University of Brighton was academic lead for the ‘Internet of Place’ concept for the launch of the Digital Catapult Centre Brighton.

Gillian served on the HEFCE 2014 Research Excellence Framework Sub-Panel 36: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management. She is currently serving (2016/17) as a high level expert on the Horizon 2020 Protection and Security Advisory Group and the Advisory Group for Gender at the European Commission.

Gillian has published her research in books, edited collections, academic articles, policy-related publications and briefing papers. She was a founding co-editor of International Feminist Journal of Politics in 1999 and her books include: Globalization: Theory and Practice. 3rd ed. Co-edited with E. Kofman. London: Continuum. 2008; Global Political Economy in the Information Age: Power and Inequality. London: Routledge, 2007; Political Economy, Power and the Body: Global Perspectives. Edited volume. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000; International Relations in a Global Age. A Conceptual Challenge. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1999. She is currently working on a volume on virtual globalization for Routledge.

This is a great professional and personal honour for me as John Urry’s work has influenced and inspired me from my early days as a globalization scholar through to my more recent work on digital economy.

Time as a missing element in social analysis: John Urry’s provocations and signposts

Gillian ran a pop-up Time Lab – see here form more.

The fellowship aims to engage creatively with John Urry’s consistent recognition of the significance of time as integral to contemporary social analysis through from the early days of globalization studies to the more recent establishment of the new academic movement focused on mobilities.

The fellowship provides an opportunity to share how this work has impacted on my own scholarship on globalization and digital developments and to explore with other students and colleagues their own research engagements with this challenging and abstract dimension of social dynamics.

The form of the fellowship will be co-creative and involve a pop-up ‘time lab’ at Lancaster to explore time and its meanings in social science and wider disciplinary contexts. Creative methodologies (such as drawing, short film, making) will be used to facilitate shared understanding of the multidimensional nature of time in social analysis.

A follow-up open presentation with photos/film clips will present some of the results of the lab work and the ways in which it will be informing my own thinking and approaches to time in future research trajectories.

The experimental approach to the fellowship is informed by the AHRC-funded Brighton Fuse ‘Fusebox’ Knowledge Exchange project ( ) focused on the development of, and research on, a radical new start-up support programme for innovators, integrating creative arts and design approaches alongside lean business and digital techniques.