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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/K012584/1
Title: BARTER: moBile sociAl netwoRking supporTing local Ethical tRading
Principal Investigator: Coulton, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Whittle, Professor J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Computing & Communications
Organisation: Lancaster University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 29 April 2013 Ends: 31 December 2014 Value (£): 193,931
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Processes Economics
Human-Computer Interactions
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
07 Sep 2012 EPSRC : Research in the Wild Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
One of the key national challenges is how we can ensure future UK economic success when existing economic models are arguably failing to cope with the pressures of increased globalization. In this research we will consider how raising the understanding of how fiscal localism can produce new complimentary economic models to build a more sustainable society.

This fiscal localism will be promoted through the creation of a system to support ethical trade, which incorporates practices that promote more socially and/or environmentally responsible trade, in a local community. Encouraging individuals to move from seeing themselves as private consumers to public citizens presents two clear challenges to address in relation to supporting wider adoption of local ethical trading:

i. for those who have already bought into ethical trading, how can we provide more information on exactly how their purchases are contributing towards a more ethical and sustainable local economy, thus helping them make informed choices?

ii. for those who haven't yet bought into it, how can we use data on the impact of ethical versus non-ethical trades to encourage them to adopt new purchasing behaviour?

To address this challenge we propose to investigate whether mobile and ubiquitous computing can be applied to support local ethical trade initiatives by: combining elements of social networking, in particular rating, ranking and reputation systems, alongside design practices derived from game feedback systems and elements derived from Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) and Local/Community currencies to produce a new approach we term a Local Wealth Generation System.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Organisation Website: http://www.lancs.ac.uk