People are collaborating ‘virtually’ on an unprecedented scale today: global business spend on live video conferencing is to reach £2.3 bn in 2016. Communication technologies allow people to be in touch, even ‘face to face’ with colleagues and like-minded people instantaneously, (almost) no matter where they are. Yet, virtual collaboration does not substitute for travel, it can even engender more obligations to meet face-to-face. In 2015, global corporations spent $1.25 trillion USD on business travel. Clearly, a ‘compulsion of proximity’ still shapes how people collaborate.
This interdisciplinary pilot project builds on existing research to investigate futures of collaboration. What works? What doesn’t? How significant are changes? The outcome of these studies will be an assessment of the significance of emerging futures of virtual collaborations at different levels: their scale, their impact on transport and the environment (including consideration of digital waste) as well as the efficiency and quality of collaborations, socio-economic, cultural, geopolitical effects as well transformations of values and practices of trust, intimacy, expertise, privacy.