Co-founder and Director of Social Innovation Camp, Dan is also a lecturer in Creative & Social Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is co-convenor for the MA/MSc in Creating Social Media, and teaches 2nd year undergraduate Social Computing. Dan is also a former Director of The Open Rights Group, and a consultant for Transitions Online on ways to use digital tactics for anti-corruption and good governance in Central & Eastern Europe.

You worked for Amnesty International as their web manager. What is the secret to successful e-campaigning?

The secret to successful e-campaigning is serendipity, which makes it hard for traditional organisations of any stripe. The underlying flow of micro-political acts on the internet converge in currents that favour agile movements. 

AIR is now the largest ever UK-based membership body for visual and applied artists. What do you see our key role as being?

Defending a free internet!

As Head of Digital for the Make Your Mark Campaign you used participatory digital innovation as a way to empower marginalised communities. How did this work?

These two dynamics (participatory development & digital innovation) have yet to consummate their union, except through luck (Savvy Chavvy) or via the spirit of Paulo Freire (Apps for Good).

Social Innovation Camp brings together ideas, people and digital tools to build web-based solutions to social problems. How do you think the web and related technologies can bring about positive change?

They allow us to hack concepts and problems at the same time.

What have been your favourite projects so far?

Highlights include:

  • Here’s a Hand A way for carers to manage the help they need from friends and family, spreading the helping hands out across your network, and allowing you as the helper to be contacted when and where it’s useful.
  • HomelessSMS A free-to-use sms mobile tool enabling the homeless to find relevant services in their local area.
  • The Good Gym Connects people who want to get some exercise with isolated, elderly people in a local community who need an errand running, some shopping delivered, or just a bit of company on a regular basis. The idea is to help you do good and keep fit at the same time.
  • Simple CRB A cheaper, quicker and more effective CRB checking service for organisations in the voluntary and public sector.
  • FLIP Matches young people with employment opportunities by helping them use their social networks to write a CV. The team are currently in closed beta.
  • MyPolice An online feedback system for the police service, allowing direct, open conversations between the public and the police.

How can artists effect change?

Occupy Art.



Follow Dan on Twitter @DanMcQuillan

Follow AIR on Youtube Dan McQuillan on the OpenAIR Channel 

Book for OpenAIR here January 2012