Dealing with the dark side of social media: LEGO Serious Play workshop, 3 March

Dealing with the dark side of social media: strategies, consequences, and practical steps 

A LEGO Serious Play workshop for galleries, libraries, archives and museums, 3 March, National Army Museum, London

Hands holding a block of 3 Lego figures

LEGO characters in a Serious Play workshop. Image CC-BY Michael Peter Edson


Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Big corporate 3rd party platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Google are a fact of life for cultural and civil-society organisations — but increasingly these platforms behave in ways that harm our communities and are at odds with our ethics, values, and missions. As galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) organisations we need social media, but we don’t want to hurt our users or reward bad corporate actors, so what should we do? 

This workshop offers a unique opportunity to work through these issues face-to-face with Michael Edson, one of the cultural sector’s leading digital strategists. Michael is the keynote speaker at Culture24’s Let’s Get Real conference – Deepening human connections: digital and values-led practice, which takes place the day before the workshop.

Michael’s most recent work takes on the challenges of using social media to create civic value in a world where platform-supported “fake news”, conspiracy theories, and organised threats to personal privacy and security are a daily fact of life for billions of people. 

If you’ve ever wondered about the dark side of social media and wanted to know more, or if you have a role developing strategy, communications, or social media for your organisation, then this workshop is for you. 

This workshop is brought to you by Culture24 as part of their commitment to building a thriving and relevant cultural sector able to connect meaningfully with audiences of today.

Book your tickets now!

LEGO Serious PLAY ®

This full-day workshop will use the LEGO Serious Play® methodology. It is the first time in the UK that this methodology will be applied to the cultural and heritage sector in this way.

LEGO Serious Play is a facilitated thinking, communication, and problem-solving technique designed to help groups quickly make sense of difficult, multi-dimensional challenges. 

In this LEGO Serious Play workshop participants will use a specially curated library of LEGO bricks to build models in response to questions posed by the facilitator. Using storytelling, metaphors, and facilitated discussion participants will develop a rich understanding of the issues at play and build strategies they can use in their own organisations.

People's arms moving LEGO pieces around a table divided into 4 sections

Using LEGO at a Serious Play workshop. Image CC-BY Michael Peter Edson

Michael is a certified LEGO Serious Play facilitator and has conducted workshops throughout the USA and Europe. 

Michael tells us, “I learned LEGO Serious Play because I saw that communities and organisations needed help to understand and take action on the most complex issues affecting their lives. LEGO Serious Play is fun, but it’s also very hard work. It’s powerful because it helps people find new insights and solutions by building on what they already know.”

Learning objectives — what will be covered?

Participants will work together to gain a deep understanding of the current ethical and practical consequences of social media, and develop a customised practical framework to guide dialogue and decision-making in their own organisations and communities. 

Participants will:

  • Gain up-to-date knowledge of how Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Google (Docs, Photos, Gmail, Analytics), Twitter, and Amazon manage content, data, and user information behind-the-scenes.
  • Understand how advertisers and data aggregators collect, combine, and monetise user information.
  • Learn about the policies and best practices being used in other cultural and civil-society organisations.
  • Develop customised strategies for their own organisations to mitigate the negative effects of social platforms.

Who should attend?

Cultural and heritage leaders and managers, social media practitioners, communications teams, curators, designers, content-creators and anyone with a strong interest in social media strategy, practice, and institutional growth.

Get 2 days of CPD back to back: If you book a ticket to Culture24’s #LGR2020 Let’s Get Real conference “Deepening human connections: digital and values-led practice” on 2 March, you’ll receive a £40 discount on your ticket to this workshop, which also takes place at the National Army Museum the following day.

A busy scene with lots of LEGO people

A LEGO Serious Play workshop. Image CC-BY Michael Peter Edson

Schedule (subject to change)

10:00am Introductions and Challenge 1: Your organisation, mission, and social media
How are social media and 3rd party platforms being used to reach your goals? How do they relate to your mission and audience? How can social media increase your impact in the world? 

11:00am Break

11:20am Challenge 2: Understanding the dark side
How do Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and other social platforms moderate content and manage users and data? How do their platform designs and corporate behaviors create risk and cause harm? 

12:30pm Lunch

1:30pm Challenge 3: Mapping the worst case scenarios
Developing real-world scenarios to explore how social media can bring risk and harm to your organisation and community.

2:15pm Challenge 4: Options and alternatives
How can we act ethically to minimise the negative impact of social media while also reaping its benefits? What general strategies can be used?

3:00pm Break

3:20pm Challenge 5: A roadmap for ethical social strategy in your organisation
Creating a practical approach tailored to your specific organisation and needs.

4:45pm Conclusion, next steps, final words.

5:00pm Workshop ends

Workshop leader

Michael Edson (@mpedson) is one of the cultural sector’s leading digital strategists. His 30-year career includes numerous groundbreaking and award-winning initiatives focused on using digital technology to break down the barriers that have long separated institutions and the public.

Book your tickets here now!

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