TAS LECTURE | Reminder for Tue 31 March | Crowd-funding and Crowd-sourcing in Today’s Archaeology: Lisa Westcott Wilkins & Brendon Wilkins

March 31 | How Far from the Madding Crowd? Crowd-funding and Crowd-sourcing in Today’s Archaeology | ,DigVentures 7.30pm at Stockton Central Library TS18 1TU. Guests are welcome for £4 each on the door.

Numerous community archaeology projects are undertaken every year in the UK on a wide range of sites by a variety of public, private and third sector organisations. Building on this provision, a new social, digital and collaborative economy is also emerging, creating an access step-change that has made it radically easier for communities to form. The emerging field of digital public archaeology has struggled to adequately theorise these new developments, assuming that all community archaeology projects can be simplified into one of two overarching methodological orientations: ‘top down’ or ‘bottom up’. In the former, projects can be conceived as a stage-managed collaboration between expert and public, with the expert retaining control over design, fieldwork and analysis. In the latter, the agenda is set according to the needs of communities themselves, with the expert relinquishing control of the process into the hands of non-professionals.

Drawing on our ‘Digital Dig Team’ innovation, this presentation will consider new approaches that enable archaeologists to co-fund, co-design, co-deliver and co-create value with their respective communities—innovations that make no sense in terms of top down or bottom up, and demand a rethink of community-based models that rely on economic theory. The digital and collaborative economy is more akin to an ecological system, where socially embedded technologies (often bracketed under the term ‘citizen science’) present archaeologists with a multitude of opportunities to do things radically differently. They open new vistas for archaeological knowledge creation, ultimately realising the value of research through a truly social method.



Lisa is Managing Director and Brendon is Projects Director at DigVentures, a social business at the forefront of culture, technology and entrepreneurship, committed to raising seed capital and increasing participation for sustainable archaeology and heritage projects worldwide.
Their innovative model works to connect heritage sector managers and archaeologists with a worldwide crowd of interested and actively engaged participants, creating a platform for the public to financially support interesting projects as well as to join in, learn new skills and contribute to internationally important research. As a Chartered Institute for Archaeologists Registered Organisation (RO) and the first-ever CIfA Accredited Field School, their work and opportunities are quality-assured at the top of the industry standard.
Over the last two years DigVentures has raised over £65K in seed funding from a globally networked crowd of supporters—money that has gone on to leverage four times that amount for their project partners in match funding.


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