About us

Communication Networks and Social Change (CNSC) is a research group from the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) of the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), recognized by AGAUR (Agency for Management of University and Research Grants) of the Government of Catalonia (SGR 2017-652).

Communication, a key aspect of human activity, is crucial in the configuration of power relations among people, social groups, and institutions. In an ever-evolving landscape of media ecologies, digital technologies enable the ubiquitousness of communication networks. Such networks constitute the new social morphology of our societies.  We analyze how political, economic and, in general, social changes are shaped by this networks, trying to avoid techno-deterministic assumptions.

We develop our research on social changes from two perspectives that articulate the research lines. The first one, “Technopolitics”, is the analysis of new forms of political expression and civic participation brought by networked social movements, emerging technopolitical concepts and practices, and new digital infrastructures. The second one, “Societies”, is the analysis of the role that digital (mobile) communication plays in empowering and developing individuals’ potentialities among non-central societal groups, mainly older people and low-income populations. An aspect that crosscuts these perspectives is our (non-pasive, but critical) adoption of innovative methodologies, in order to better understand the limitations and opportunities provided by new digital methods.

By developing scientific knowledge in these thriving areas, our research contributes to better understand crucial social changes of our contemporary societies. As a concluding remark, we also contribute in building collaborative ties with different social actors in alignment with the late ethical and responsible research agenda.

Manuel Castells
Principal Investigator (on leave for role as Minister of Universities)
Manuel is a Spanish sociologist recognized for his research on the information society, communication, and globalization. The Social Science Citation Index, with data between 2000 and 2015, ranks him as the fourth most cited social scientist in the world, and the first in the field of communications.
Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol
Group Leader

Mobile communication has been one of her main areas of research since 2003, adopting a combined approach of sociology and economics. She is interested in both developed and developing countries. With a background in economics, she obtained her doctoral degree at the University of Barcelona. In her research she takes a multidisciplinary approach, combining quantitative and qualitative techniques.

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Antonio Calleja-López
Coordinator Technopolitics

PhD in Sociology (University of Exeter), D.E.A. in Philosophy (University of Seville) and M.A. in Political Science (Arizona State University). He participates in projects ranging from sociological studies in the laboratory and techno-scientific innovation to the intersection between art and politics, through the analysis of social movements. Currently, some of them are Tecnopolitica.ccVectorDatapolitikDecidim and Outonomy. In previous years he participated in DECODED-CENT and Interidentity, among other projects. He is coordinator of Tecnopolitica and co-founder of Heuristica.barcelona.

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Andrea Rosales
Coordinator Societies
Andrea received her Ph.D. in Information, Communication and Audiovisual Technologies at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) with the dissertation "Wearable designs and playful accessories for the promotion of free play among school-aged children" (2014). Previously she received an Interdisciplinary MA in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media at the same university, and a BA in Social Communication at Universidad del Valle.
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Madelin Gómez-León
Postdoctoral Researcher

Madelin is a demographer scientist with a Ph.D. in Demography (Autonomous University of Barcelona-UAB, 2013). She joined the CNSC research group at IN3-UOC in September 2019 to carry out a 3-year research project “Understanding inequalities in (healthy) life expectancy in later life. An international comparison- InHALE.”

Juan Linares

PhD in Communication (Universitat Pompeu Fabra). BA in Audiovisual Communication at the University of Barcelona (UB), and MA in Advanced Studies in Social Communication at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). His research interests are movements, networks, and journalism.

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Emanuele Cozzo

Emanuele Cozzo got his degree in Physics at the "Sapienza" University of Rome. There, also began his interest in critical science, tapping on the tradition of the department of Physics. He got his PhD in complex systems and networks at the BiFi / University of Zaragoza.

Arnau Monterde
Researcher (on leave)

PhD in Information and Knowledge Society at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). Coordinator of the Technopolitics area in the Communication Networks and Social Change research group at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute since 2011. Participant in the research network Datanalysis15M. He investigates the emergence and evolution of movements in the network society from a situated and interdisciplinary perspective, crossing different methodologies of analysis. He also works on emerging models and forms of network participation and democracy.

Tayrine Dos Santos Dias
Granted PhD Student

Tayrine holds a MA in Political Science from the University of Brasilia in Brazil. Currently, she is a PhD student in Information and Knowledge Society at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).

Marta Cambronero Garbajosa
Granted PhD Student

Journalist and communication consultant, Marta is a full-time PhD student in the Information and Knowledge Society program at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).

Master Thesis
Daniel Blanche-T.
PhD Student - Research Assistant

Daniel is research assistant and doctoral candidate in Information and Knowledge Society at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). He conducts research on ageing, sociopolitical participation, and (digital) media technologies. 

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Alejandra López Gabrielidis
Project Manager

With a background in philosophy and the digital arts, her research interests lay in the interwoven relationships between the body and data from a distributed agency paradigm.

Marc Esteve del Valle
Adjunct Researcher

Marc is an External Associate Researcher at the CNSC group. He works as an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Media and Journalism Studies at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. His research and teaching interests lie at the intersection between new media, digital democracy and social networks.

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Pau Adelantado
Research Assistant

Pau Adelantado has a degree in sociology (UAB), a degree in design and interaction by ELISAVA (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and a Master in Information Society and Knowledge (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). He participates in innovation projects for public and private organizations, co-founded the social innovation cooperative BitLab, and has developed his professional career in organizations such as I2CAT, EVERIS, INDUCT, among others.

David Leal
Research Assistant

David is a researcher, teacher, consultant, and writer in the field of public innovation and participatory leadership. He is motivated to help people and organizations turn the systemic challenges of our time into a lever for change to create a more humane, sustainable and happy society through network collaboration.

Jorge Chamorro
Research Assistant

Jorge has a degree in Computer Engineering from the Universidad de Granada (UGR) and a Master's Degree in Cognitive Systems and Interactive Media from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF). Currently, he is collaborating with the Computer Vision Group of UGR where he has focused his research on Text Mining, Sociology of Science and

Javier Toret
Adjunct Researcher
BA in Psychology at the University of Málaga. His interests are at the intersection of philosophy, politics, psychology, and technology. He investigates the transformations of subjectivities and forms of communication, action and collective organization in the network society. He coordinated the collective research project titled: "Technopolitics: The power of connected multitudes. The network system #15m: A new paradigm, distributed politics".
Sarah Wagner
Associate Postdoctoral Researcher

Sarah is an adjunct postdoctoral researcher in the CNSC group. Since 2012 her research has explored the intersections of (digital) communication practices and ICT service systems. Combining political economy research with community-based collaboration, she has been examining the factors that shape individuals’ civic positioning in digitalization.

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Francisca Morey
Research Assistant

MA in Statistics and Operational Research at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). BA in Sociology at University of Barcelona (UB). She is interested in social research, combining the two perspectives: quantitative and qualitative.

Roberta M. Răducu
Visiting Researcher (2020)

Roberta is PhD candidate in Communication at the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA, Romania) and Erasmus+ visiting researcher between September and October 2020.

Andreu Belsunces Gonçalves
Research Assistant (2018-2019)

Sociologist of design and technology. He researches socio-technical assemblages focusing on their policies and intervenes in them through collaborative, textual and interactive practices.

Laura Roth
Researcher (2018)

Holds a PhD. in Political Philosophy by Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where she was also a researcher and professor until 2017. She currently coordinates the International Observatory for Participatory Democracy (IOPD). 

Camila Renè Maggi
Research Assistant (2018)

Camila Renè Maggi is an architect and works in the development of projects and communities that join technologies, free culture and social innovation. Her work is related to digital culture, open source and practical experimentation methodologies own in digital fabrication laboratories.

Marcela Canavarro
Visiting Researcher (2016-2017)
PhD candidate in Digital Media with a specialization in Journalism (University of Porto), MA in Communication and Culture (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), specialization in Project Planning for Digital and Interactive Media (Senac-Rio) and Diplomate in Journalism (UFRJ). Her research interests are critical Internet studies and digital methods applied to social research.
Master thesis
Marta Almela Salvador
Research Assistant (2017-2018)
PhD in Communication, Technologies and Society by La Sapienza Università di Roma (2016) with a dissertation on citizen participation, web 2.0 and participatory processes enabled by the administrations. BA in Economics and Business Administration (University of Barcelona, 1993) and MA-DAF in Marketing Management (Esade 1999).
Pedro Jacobetty
Research Assistant (2017)
Pedro Jacobetty has a BA and MA in Sociology from the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) and a PhD in the Information and Knowledge Society at the Interdisciplinary Institute of Internet (IN3) of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).
Lorena Osorio
Research Assistant (2017)
Lorena is BA in Sociology at ICESI University in 2013. She is currently enrolled in the MA in Management for Social Innovation at ICESI University. Her areas of interest are social research, sociology of health, and vulnerability in older people.
Jéssica Zambrano
Alumni (2017)
Jéssica is currently enrolled in a MA in Statistics and Operational Research, with an emphasis on Business and Social Statistics at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC). Her interests focus on the exploration, analysis and interpretation of data on issues related to economics, business and social studies.
Adrien Semail
Alumni (2016)
Adrien Semail received his BA in Spanish and Commerce from the University of Edinburgh before beginning his MA in International Relations at the Institut de Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). His main interest is in information and communication technologies (ICT) and democracy in developing countries.