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How to Participate

If you are a researcher or an organisation who would like to find out more about the UoE Digital Societies Grow House, and/or participate in the programme, please email us to discuss.  

Find out more about the Digital Societies Grow House Fund here View our recent funded applications here

Digital Societies Growhouse Programme

Digital Societies Growhouse Programme

The Digital Societies Growhouse Pilot Programme (the DiSGHo Programme) is designed to stimulate creative, mutually beneficial, innovative and impactful partnerships between external organisations and interdisciplinary groups of researchers. Based on the widely-used Greenhousing Technique, Exeter’s Digital Societies Growhouse Programme is an ‘idea generator’ for new research and innovations that aim to create a sustainable, healthy and socially just future for our rapidly digitalising societies. 

The Programme will bring together researchers, external organisations and end users who are interested in creating collaborative, inclusive, and responsible research that will critique, challenge and inform the development of new research methods, digital technologies and innovations.

If you have any further questions about the Exeter Digital Societies Grow House Programme or want to get involved, email

About the Programme

Greenhousing is a process underpinned by behaviours that helps to generate creative and disruptive ideas to address a problem, in a supportive environment.

The three Greenhousing behaviours create a stimulating and positive environment for building ideas and nurturing them to grow. The behaviours we ask Grow House participants to embody are:

  • Freshness - actively seeking new experiences and perspectives
  • Bravery - being courageous and putting your idea out there
  • Momentum - getting passionate about an idea and making it happen

For example, one simple technique we as participants use, when hearing an idea, is to say “yes, and…” instead of “yes, but...”. This puts energy into seeing how something could work, rather than forming judgments.

The Grow House Process asks challenge holders (academic and external experts) to:

  1. Define their challenge
  2. Build hypotheses (why is this happening)
  3. Generate ideas
  4. Harvest thoughts
  5. Choose the best ideas and make them happen (write proposals)

Each Digital Societies Grow House will be focussed on a specific challenge arising from the digitalisation of society. These challenges are defined by academics in collaboration with our external partners who are experts in that field.

Each Grow House will be split over two half days which take place within a period of three months.

The first session will be focussed on growing new ideas, and the second on critiquing and enhancing the ideas in a supportive and friendly environment, and identifying concrete early-stage research ideas and proposals for projects to move forward with in internal and external funding opportunities.

The sessions will be augmented by the Digital Societies Writing and Collaboration events.

The Digital Societies Grow House Session can be focussed on any challenge brought about by the rapid digitalisation of societies. Therefore, the sessions are not prescriptive and can be established in response to emerging internal and external interests.

Some topics which a Grow House might focus on includes, but is not exclusive to:

  • Data Justice (e.g. implications of data and digital technologies for the law, human rights, education, politics, work, economy, and infrastructure and citizenship; access (& not) to justice; digital forensics; citizen-led initiatives,
  • Data studies, ethics and governance (analysis of the processes and implications of digitalisation and studying of data practices, algorithm bias, explainability and accountability,
  • Methods (e.g. new methods for social science and the study of human behaviour with a focus on understanding the digitalisation of societies), and more.

If you’re interested in proposing a challenge for a Digital Societies Grow House to look at, please contact

Participating in a Grow House will provide researchers with benefits including the opportunity to:

  • form impactful collaborative research proposals with interdisciplinary colleagues and external organisations
  • develop the practical skills and experience to form collaborations with external organisations in a supportive environment
  • explore mutually beneficial partnerships
  • engage with colleagues from interdisciplinary backgrounds

Participating in a Digital Societies Grow House Programme will allow organisations to:

  • Develop innovative solutions to problems and acquire new capabilities.
  • Access new expertise
  • Engage in discussions about cutting edge research in the area
  • De-risk research and development by seeking funding opportunities with researchers from external and internal funding opportunities in the area

Each Digital Societies Grow House is split over two half days, spaced roughly one to two months apart. As a minimum, we would like participating external organisations who are challenge setters to deliver a 10-15 minute presentation about the challenge and their relevant thoughts and experiences establishing why this is an issue during the first session.

Academic participants will form a cohort, and are expected to participate in all sessions – a total of two half days over a one to three month period.

All scheduled Digital Societies events will be listed on the University of Exeter website. If you are a researcher or an organisation who would like to find out more about the Exeter’s Digital Societies Grow House, and/or participate in or shape the programme, please email and a member of our team will get back to you to explore your interests.

The Digital Societies Grow House is supported by the SSIS ADR fund and IIB. The sessions are timed to align with the internal Translational Funding Awards. The Digital Societies Grow House Fund is also aligned with and supports the programme when funds are available.

The Digital Societies Pilot Programme is under development. All Digital Societies Grow House events will be listed on the University of Exeter events page.