SEAC Seminar Series: Digital Interventions on Urban Societal Challenges in Southeast Asian Communities

Hosted by the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre

Online Event


Dr Joanne Lim

Dr Joanne Lim

Associate Professor, University of Nottingham in Malaysia


Prof. Hyun Bang Shin

Prof. Hyun Bang Shin

Professor of Geography and Urban Studies and Director of Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre, LSE

SEAC hosted a research seminar chaired by SEAC Director Prof. Hyun Bang Shin on 16 June 2021. Dr Joanne Lim, SEAC Visiting Fellow (Associate Professor in Communications, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia), spoke on "Digital Interventions on Urban Societal Challenges in Southeast Asian Communities".


Talk abstract

Taking into account lived experiences, the practices of doing and the culture of participation within networked societies, it is pertinent that long-standing conversations pertaining to sustainable development now shift towards regenerative solutions whereby the “digital” serves as a platform for critical intervention instead of a distruptive overhaul to an existing ecosystem. For Southeast Asian cities to thrive in terms of societal well-being, it is important to use the digital as a tool to increase social interaction/connectedness, and to reinforce the development of culture, creativity and wellness. Driven by an accelerated need for digitalization during to the Covid-19 pandemic, smart and regenerative practices via mobile/digital media need to serve as an agent of social and physical cohesion to ensure better accessibility and inclusivity, in addition to improving resource management through design of digital hardware, software and innovative policy (and governance). By drawing upon case studies from research conducted on selected Southeast Asian cities in the area of communication, lifestyle, the gig-economy  and healthcare, this paper conceptualises an approach based on mobilizing participation, networked collaboration and fostering transparency in order to explore how we can re(imagine), (re)evaluate and (re)negotiate this assemblage of disruption as a result of current social and environmental problems by adding connectivity and creativity within the existing societal infrastructure. In doing so, it may be possible to propose a new social contract which will entail the participation and consensus between government, business communities and citizens.  

Speaker and Chair biographies

  • Dr Joanne Lim is Associate Professor in Communications, Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia. She is also Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Dr Lim holds a PhD in Media and Cultural Studies and an MA in Global Media from the University of East London, UK. She was appointed Visiting Research Fellow with the National University of Singapore in 2013. Dr Lim teaches in the areas of (Digital) Media and Society, Cultural Policy and the Creative Industries. Her research focuses on participatory media, interculturalism, youth identities; and civic/political engagement within the Malaysian-Southeast Asian context. She is currently involved in a number of multi-disciplinary research projects including the development of two mHealth apps for Cancer and Maternal Health respectively; analysing Mental Health and Suicide Reporting; understanding the Weaponising of Pop Culture on WhatsApp in Singapore & Malaysia; and conducting a Sentiment Analysis of Online Perception on Human Rights in the Palm Oil Industry. She is Associate Editor of Media Asia (Routledge) and Editorial Board Member of the Southeast Asian Social Science Review (IKMAS). Dr Lim is a former journalist with one of Malaysia's leading newspaper. She was also a Broadcast Journalist in Alberta, Canada’s RDTV/CHCA-TV and a Co-Producer of a radio talk show (710KIRO) in Seattle, USA.
  • Prof. Hyun Bang Shin is Professor of Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science and directs the LSE Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre. His research centres on the critical analysis of the political economy of speculative urbanisation, gentrification and displacement, urban spectacles, and urbanism with particular attention to Asian cities. His books include Planetary Gentrification (Polity, 2016), Neoliberal Urbanism, Contested Cities and Housing in Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Exporting Urban Korea? Reconsidering the Korean Urban Development Experience (Routledge, 2021), and The Political Economy of Mega Projects in Asia: Globalization and Urban Transformation (Routledge, forthcoming). He is Editor of the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, and is also a trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation.

 A video recoring of this seminar can be found here. 

Author meets ECRs

Following the SEAC Seminar, Dr Joanne Lim hosted a 45 minute informal session from 1.45-2.30pm, specifically for current PhD students. This will be a small group discussion around methods, career path, and other topics ECRs would like to discuss.

*Banner image is from John Barkiple on Unsplash.