Exploring Action Research

We were delighted to host the Leapfrog Summer School, in July 2016. The Innovation School and ImaginationLancaster are research partners in Leapfrog. Collectively we see the project as an opportunity to work with communities to design and develop better approaches to engagement.

The Leapfrog team shaped an exciting Summer School Programme, focused on understanding the fundamentals of Action Research, what it looks like, and how it can help us engage with communities in order to make a difference.

The Leapfrog Summer School in July 2016 brought together a range of international speakers and researchers to the GSA’s Highlands and Islands campus.


Summer School delegates in discussions.

The three-day programme included a range of keynote speeches, lightning talks and discussions around the topic of action research.

The event provided a valuable learning and networking opportunity for around 20 early career researchers from across the world. Talks covered topics such as co-design, collaboration and design research, with one session even taking place on the beach at Findhorn.

Among the speakers were GSA director Professor Tom Inns and Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam, GSA Deputy Director (Innovation), as well as Lancaster University’s Professor Rachel Cooper and Professor Leon Cruickshank, who runs the Leapfrog project. Professor Eva Brandt, of Copenhagen’s KADK (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation), also gave a talk to delegates.

Socialising also played an important part in proceedings and delegates were encouraged to network and talk to each other about their work and experiences.

You can now register for Summer School 2017, which will be held on July 11-14 at Lancaster University. Find out more here on the Leapfrog website.

You can also watch this video about Summer School 2016:

Leapfrog Summer School 2016: Action Research, Engagement, & Co-​design from leapfrogtools on Vimeo.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet lots of people who have similar interests but are working on projects in other parts of the world. It’s an opportunity to network and an opportunity to pause and reflect.”
Professor Tom Inns

“Summer School will have a long-lasting effect on a few of the delegates because they will remember the location and the collaborative and collegial experience of eating, drinking and talking together in a nice place.”
Distinguished Professor Rachel Cooper, Lancaster University

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get together and discuss issues that we all face throughout research and in our work in more depth, share knowledge and experiences between us and also frustrations and really I felt there was a great atmosphere of support and understanding.”
Laura Santmaria, PhD student at Loughborough University

Contact: Dr Emma Murphy: [email protected] or Dr Cara Broadley: [email protected]


Leapfrog Summer School goes to Findhorn beach. Image credit: Alicia Smedberg (MRES student, 2016)