Centre for BOLD Cities at Expeditie NEXT 2024

In the first week of May, the Centre for BOLD Cities participated in Expeditie NEXT, an annual science festival designed for children up to twelve years old. The event gathers scientists, universities, colleges and museums nationwide, all aiming to ignite children's enthusiasm for science. It takes place in a different city every year and this year, the event was organized in the old city centre of Zutphen. 

At the festival, we organized 'digital datawalks' with our researchgame Jouw buurt, jouw data (your neighbourhood, your data). In the game, participants 'walk' through a digital town. Along the way, they are presented with a combination of questions and assignments about data collection, smart technologies and privacy.  For example, they get the assignment to look for points in public where their data is being collected in a park and they have to choose between a short walking route, which contains a lot of security cameras, or a long walking route, which contains no cameras. At the end of the game, the players are presented with their privacy profile, which indicates what kind of 'datasharer' they are: impartial, naive, frugal or generous. 

A lot of children were quite critical of public data collection. For example, most of them chose to take the long route, where there were no cameras or the short route, with a lot of cameras. They also recognized a lot of the datapoints in the park, most often the drone flying in the air. 

a picture of four posters identifying the four privacy profiles. the posters are colourful and hang on a wooden board
The posters of the multiple 'privacy profiles' 

All the children put a sticker on the poster that represented their privacy profile. From the overview of all four posters, it becomes clear that most of the children were either frugal data sharers (spaarzame datadeler), represented by the orange poster on the bottom left, or generous data sharers (gulle datadeler), represented by the green poster on the bottom right. These two profiles have in common that they are very good at identifying where their data is being collected. The frugal data sharers, however, choose to share their data much less often than the generous data sharers.

Altogether, it was an exciting and interesting day. Thank you to the organization and to all of the children (and parents) participating in our game! We truly enjoyed hearing all of your insights on data collection and privacy in the city. 

About Expeditie NEXT
Expeditie NEXT is one of the projects of the National Science Agenda (Nationale Wetenschapsagenda), which bundles the forces of a large range of knowledge institutions, businesses and civil society organization. The aim of the National Science Agenda is to make science more accessible for a broader audience by organizing several activities. 

More information
Visit the website of Expeditie NEXT