Dr Igor Calzada, Principal Research Fellow at WISERD, has completed his role as Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (S-I-R) 2022-23 at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) via the US-UK Fulbright Commission. Dr Calzada was formally welcomed by the university during a reception on 10th October 2022 (you can read the interview conducted before the event, watch the video and see the presentation on the CSUB website).
As part of his residency at CSUB, Dr Calzada conducted fieldwork action research from August to December 2022 on emerging digital citizenship, e-diaspora, data co-operatives, digital rights, blockchain and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), by collaborating with Stanford University, DAO Research Collective and The Science of Blockchain Conference 2022 (SBC’22).
Dr Calzada interviewed local and regional stakeholders around the Western Basque-American e-diaspora, particularly in California, and retrospectively Nevada and Idaho. This has allowed him to formulate the e-diaspora research strategy for the Institute for Basque Studies (IBS). This strategy has been published in the journal, Societies, in the special issue, ‘Social and Technological Interactions in E-societies’, funded by the US-UK Fulbright Commission and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC):
Stemming from the findings of his fieldwork, positive feedback from the Basque diaspora community and after several meetings with Kern County Basque Club board (a well-established civil society organisation encompassing 1,000 Basque-American club members), Dr Calzada recommends CSUB convenes a series of ‘Community Workshops’. This forthcoming set of events, as advocated in the above journal article, would aim to gather the Basque-American community of Kern County in California in order to discuss: (i) the future of the Basque community, (ii) the digitalisation/datafication risks and opportunities alongside key stakeholders, and (iii) the intergenerational gap of membership in terms of i and ii.
This intense fieldwork action research culminates Dr Calzada’s Fulbright S-I-R programme, with the aim of enhancing the Basque-American community engagement capacities between CSUB-IBS and Kern County Basque Club. As the journal article ends: “As e-societies tend to move quickly, the clock is ticking for CSUB to move toward an entrepreneurial and transdisciplinary roadmap around e-societies in the 21st century”. Dr Calzada’s contribution was to kick-off this entrepreneurial process.
During his residency, Dr Calzada also participated in the Fulbright Enrichment Program in November at UCLA in Los Angeles, while strengthening his research networks at UCLA, and Stanford Universities. He was also engaged with key city policy conversations on digital rights around the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights (CCDR) in Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, and Portland.
Finally, Dr Calzada will present results of his Fulbright S-I-R at AAG2023 Annual Meeting on 23rd March 2023 in Denver, Colorado (US).