Dr Alberto Cossu

Lecturer in Media & Communication

School/Department: Media Communication and Sociology, School of



I am sociologist and media scholar who does research at the intersection between digital media and activism qualitative and digital methods collaborative and digital economies.

Before joining the University of Leicester I was Lecturer in New Media & Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam and previously a Research Fellow at the Department of Social & Political Sciences University of Milan where I have obtained my PhD in Sociology. During my PhD I have conducted research on the mobilisation of knowledge and art workers in Italy; within the EU project P2PValue I was part of an international team led by Prof. A. Arvidsson on peer-to-peer models of organisation and production in Italy and France on digital economy and co-working spaces in Italy and Thailand.


I am currently leading a research project on the future of collaborative work and I collaborate on a EU Project.

On the side I have consulted and collaborate with both public and private organisations such as Facebook TikTok Fondazione Feltrinelli.

I lead the Research Cluster (link to embed: on Digital Media within the School of Media Communication and Sociology at the University of Leicester.

Active Grants:

- Digital Innovation Ecosystems and Collaborative Work in Leicestershire (ESRC IAA Impact Fund). PI: Alberto Cossu (2021)

- H2020 DigiGen (as co-PI) The Impact of Technological Transformations on the Digital Generation. I lead the work package on ICT and the transformation of civic participation (2019-2022) PI: Athina Karatzogianni"


Exp. 2022 with A. Karatzogianni ‘The Politicization of Cryptocurrency: Between Cooptation and Counterpower’. Article included in a special issue for Marketing Theory.

Exp. 2022 with C. Bandinelli ‘It must have been love but it’s over now. How datafication turned dating into a branded lifestyle’. Article accepted in a special issue for the journal Sexualities.

Exp. 2022 with A. Arvidsson and F. Fritsch, ‘The politics of post-automation: future-making in radical crypto’. Target Journal: Theory Culture & Society

2021 Autonomous Art Institutions. London: Rowman and Littlefield. Out on Dec. 16th 2021

2021 'The Digital traces of crypto-finance', in Armano E., Briziarelli, M. Flores, J., Risi, E. (eds.), Digital Platforms and Algorithmic Subjectivities. London: Westminster University Press. In press.

2020 With Gandini, A., ‘The third wave of coworking: neo-corporate movement vs resilient practice?’. European Journal of Cultural Studies

2019  With Leung, W.-F., ‘Embracing change: the symbolic of digital entrepreneurship in East Asia’. International Journal of Cultural Studies. 

2018a   â€˜Brands and productive publics in the event economy: the case of Milano Design Week’. Sociologia del Lavoro (Sociology of Work, article in English). 

2018b   â€˜Beyond social media determinism? How artists reshape the organisation of social movements’, Social Media + Society. 

2016 With d’Ovidio, M. ‘Culture is reclaiming the creative city: the case of Macao in Milan - Italy’, City, Culture & Society. 


I am interested in supervising PhD candidates in the following areas:

- Art Activism and related forms of political engagement by creative and cultural workers

- Alternative modes of social organisation and economic production (e.g. peer-to-peer commons commoning practices)

- Digital and collaborative forms of work (e.g. startups coworking spaces digital nomads) with a focus on south-east Asia and China

- Digital media economics (e.g. economies of Instagram influencers game streamers etc.)

- Democratisation of Finance: research on cryptocurrencies their social and cultural significance


I am the Program Director for the MA in Digital Media & Society.

I currently lead the following modules:

MS7042 - Research Methods for the Online World

MS7087 - Critical Approaches to Data Analytics and the Digital Economy

Press and media

I am available for interviews and collaborations on all the topics highlighted above but more specifically on my current research projects on coworking and crypto-economics.


Member of BSA

Reviewer for: American Behavioral Scientist Marketing theory Theory Culture & Society Sociological Review Social Media + Society Cultural Trends Convergence TripleC Ephemera City Culture & Society Sociologica


2021 Keynote at Forum Danse “Fair Practices” Geneva Switzerland 6/9/2021

2019 Invited to hold a public workshop on co-working spaces and new forms of collaborative work. University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) Department of Communication and Economics. Dec. 17th

2019 Coordinator of a roundtable on digital citizenship for Colloqui di Cortona organised by Fondazione Feltrinelli.

2018 ‘New Social Movements co-working and start-ups. Limits and opportunities of digital methods for the study of emerging organisations”. Invited talk at the University of Naples ‘Federico II’. Apr. 9th.

2017 Invited speaker at the Feltrinelli “Jobless Society” Forum Milan May 30.

2016 Invited speaker at the Fifth SoME Seminar. Paper “Embracing Big Data. An analysis of art-activists’ discourses on contemporary data flows”. Scuola Normale Superiore Florence November 17-18.

2016 Keynote speaker at the Hi>Dance contemporary dance festival Aosta October 13-16..

2015 Invited Speaker at the workshop “The Sociality of Sharing” organized by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies at the University of Warwick September 23. 


2021 Speaker for the Conference on Cultural Policy (ICCPR) Kyoto Japan March 2021 (online) presenting the paper “The Cultures of Digital Finance”.

2020 Speaker in the RGCS Conference presenting the paper “The future of collaborative working practices: Connecting existing trends and pandemic- proof life”. Milan (Online) Dec. 14th and 15th 2020.

2020 Organiser of a 3 panels-session for the Crossroads - Cultural Studies Conference Lisbon Portugal July 2020. Cancelled due to Covid.

2019 Organiser and chair of the Panel “Post Start-Up Cultures: Imaginaries Values and Work” at CAMEo Conference 2019 “Re-Futuring Creative Economies” University of Leicester 5-6 September.

2019 Co-Organiser of “Digital Sociology Hackathon” University of Naples June 19-22. Coordinating the works of “Cryptocultures” stream.

2019 Coordinator of a roundtable about digital citizenship within the Colloqui di Cortona event organised by Feltrinelli Foundation.

2015 Co-organiser of the conference “Techniques of Art & Protest” and Chair of the section “Art & Labour” - King’s College London September 18. 


PhD Sociology (Università degli Studi di Milano)

MSc Communication Theory (Distinction Università degli Studi di Siena - Italy)

BA (Hons) Communication Science (Università degli Studi di Siena - Italy)

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