Manchester Metropolitan University will focus on the challenges faced by new creative producers entering the digital and creative industries. Two Creative Jam events will test and discuss the DAFNE+ tools and concepts and empower development of a sustainable student-first community for existing learners and graduates.

For creative arts students finding their way in the digital and creative industries, it can be difficult to find your first steps in your career without support. One of the measures that can help is to join and take part in a creative network that provides opportunities to share your work, gain recognition and be part of community projects that can form part of a future portfolio. Through the DAFNE+ project, Manchester Metropolitan University aims to address the crucial question of how blockchain technology can be leveraged to facilitate a supportive and sustainable student-first creative community.

Building a supportive community

Manchester Metropolitan University researchers on the project will build out a creative student community called Shareloom creating a safe space where students and partners can interact, share, buy and sell work and creative services. DAFNE+’s new digital tools and NFT features will be studied by and integrated into Shareloom student community online forums and in-person community events, allowing students easier access to tools that can support their career development as they seek to realise ideas, and monetise their portfolios and creative skillsets in a safe and secure environment.

In particular the DAFNE+ is helping researchers explore how we:

  • Protect student work online using declaration of asset and artwork ownership through the blockchain.
  • Enable a student or student group to sell finished work more fairly via NFT: ability to monetize your work through NFT-based distribution.
  • Manage group projects and events through blockchain based community interaction: group and collective work management through decentralised autonomous organisation.

Creative Jam – in Manchester and Barcelona

In the first phase of testing, we will run a one-week Creative Jam in January 2024 with students in Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK and students at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) in Barcelona with DAFNE+ project partners FabLab. Students will be introduced to the fairer business models and working practices made possible by the project such as allowing collaborative authorship to be acknowledged and remunerated using innovative NFT technology and legal schemes. Students will also explore the fairer use of a decentralised autonomous organisations (DAO) that could allow better network wide decision making on core issues of governance. The Creative Jam is expected to be complemented by talks from experts at the BBC North, Known Origin and others in the field. An output of the jam event will be an exhibition online. Students from the two European cities will discuss the nature of the exhibition and it will use DAFNE+ and its tools to facilitate.

Feeding back into the DAFNE+ project

The Creative Jam event will play a crucial role in the initial user testing of the DAFNE+ tools and features for this use case. As well as providing country-specific feedback, it is expected that the event will bring together staff and students from Manchester and Barcalona campuses in hybrid (online and in-person setting), providing a unique opportunity for cross-cultural collaboration and knowledge exchange that will benefit analysis of the platform and feed into its aims for new forms of community building. The second jam will take place a year later in January 2025 with the final version of DAFNE+.