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Sense-making Representation of a Technologically-enabled Society (SeRTES)

About the Project

The SeRTES proposal addresses the challenges in providing an understanding of the information ecosystem that is emerging as IT provision becomes ubiquitous. It aims to make sense of the ecosystem that is enabled by technology, build different representational perspectives within a representation of the ecosystem and resolve the inherent tension between the need to abstract and the need to be concrete within the representation. It will develop an approach capable of mapping and representing the richly diverse collection of inter-related concepts that confuse businesses, designers, implementers and users.

The research aims to provide a set of requirements/specification of a visualisation to show scenarios – 'the whole' rather than 'the parts'—of how issues in a technological-enabled society are dynamically related, i.e. how entities, individuals, institutions, laws, and risks dynamically interact within the virtual realm.


The project ill employ a range of methodologies grounded in the multi-disciplinary expertise of the team to develop and demonstrate the value of its approach. Various methodologies will complement and inform one another over the course of the project, including:

  • The application of the various disciplinary perspectives of the research team to provide a multi-layered analysis
  • The development of initial conceptualisations
  • Mapping methodology
  • An examination of new forms of organisation
  • The usage of small practical case studies to provide indicators of the complexity of the issues
  • Vignettes/micro-cases to demonstrate and test the value of the mapping methodology
  • Interviews with focus groups

Research Team

Professor Irene Ng, University of Warwick (Principal Investigator)
Dr Kevin Brown, Newcastle University
Dr Ashley Lloyd, University of Edinburgh
Professor David Pym, University of Aberdeen
Dr M Rajarajan, City University
Dr Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh
Dr William Venters, London School of Economics & Political Science
Team at WMG
Professor Irene Ng, Principal Investigator
Dr Susan Wakenshaw, Research Fellow
Peter Ward, Project Manager

Publications/Research Outputs

Wakenshaw S, Ng I, Venters W, Brown K, Lloyd A, Pym D, Rajarajan M & Speed C (2013) Revisiting Technology Thinking in Service Innovations and Consumer Experiences: An Empirical Research. 2013 Frontiers in Service Conference, July 4-7, Taipei, Taiwan

Collinson M, McDonald K & Pym D (2013) A Substructural Logic for Layered Graphs. Accepted
for publication with Journal of Logic and Computation, subject to revisions





Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Ref: EP/J021601/1

Project timeframe

April 2012 – December 2012





Peter Ward
p dot m dot ward at warwick dot ac dot uk


Project Poster

SERTES Project Poster