Activities and Events

Picture of data visualisation event

The blurred line of digital-social inclusion in real world practice

DSN and SIID DDI-sponsored seminar from The School of Education

James Richardson, Tom French & Alice Mathers, Good Things Foundation (formerly Tinder Foundation)

Thursday 25th May
12pm – 1pm (refreshments at 11.30)
ICOSS Conference Room

We are living through a new industrial age, the age of digital transformation and discovery. This has far reaching economic and social impacts on how we live, work, interact with others and develop as a society. If all UK citizens had basic digital skills, benefits to individuals and society (including increased productivity) would contribute over £14 billion to UK economy by 2025. However 12.6 million people in the UK lack Basic Digital Skills, with many of the country’smost excluded people still unable to reap the benefits of digital due to barriers related to ‘income, education, age, geography and disability status.’ It is our mission at Good Things Foundation to change this.

Based in Sheffield, Good Things Foundation is one of the UK’s leading digital and social inclusion organisations. Since 2010, we have helped over 2 million people in the UK to improve their lives through digital. With a broad portfolio of partners, funding and projects, we are currently involved in delivering programmes of digital inclusion, digital health, financial capability and ESOL; we work with and provide specialist support to groups including older people, disabled people, jobseekers, homeless people, people with mental health problems, and isolated BAME women.

We are a research-led organisation, carrying out evaluation of major projects independently and in partnership, as well as innovating through pilot programmes to seed new social interventions aimed at engaging severely excluded people. To ensure there is a deep understanding of the impact of our work, we are driven by a commitment to embedding and sharing robust research and evaluation findings from both our national programmes and targeted projects, so that we and others can address the key barriers to digital inclusion of skills, access, and motivation.

In this seminar we will:

  • Give an overview of our strategic approach to making impact happen and how we’re evolving to do this;
  • Show how today’s current social challenges are informing our approach to working with different population;
  • Use key programmes and projects from our portfolio to demonstrate how taking a research-led approach helps us to plan and deliver them, including academic collaborations;
  • Explore our use of external and internal data sets to describe the contextual landscape within which we work; demonstrate our impact; and build practical models to guide our activities and those of our existing/potential partners.

Invite discussion as to how research collaborations between Sheffield University and Good Things Foundation could inform innovative social interventions.

From Surveillance Realism to Data Justice

DSN-sponsored departmental seminar from Journalism, with Dr Lina Dencik, Cardiff University

Wednesday 7th June
1pm
Room 123, Department of Journalism, 9 Mappin Street

The Snowden leaks, first published in June 2013, provided unprecedented insights into the workings of contemporary state-corporate digital surveillance. Rooted in the everyday communication infrastructures and platforms of ordinary citizens, the documents revealed the entrenched nature of surveillance into citizens’ lives and relations. However, what have been the social and political implications of the Snowden leaks? What has been the nature of public debate, policy outcomes, and types of resistance to the practices of mass surveillance? In this presentation I will discuss how mass surveillance has been enabled and advanced through policy and technological frameworks whilst being justified and normalized in media and public debate in the aftermath of the Snowden leaks. This has manifested itself in the knowledge, attitudes and imagination amongst ordinary people as well as those seeking to challenge and counter surveillance. I identify this condition as ‘surveillance realism’, a pervasive atmosphere that regulates and constrains thought and action in which it has become increasingly difficult to imagine a coherent alternative to the prevailing system. In such a context, I advance the framework of ‘data justice’ as a way to articulate data-driven surveillance in relation to economic and social justice rather than the limited techno-legal narratives that have dominated data debates post-Snowden. I argue that such a framework is needed in order to situate surveillance - as the corner-stone of datafication - within a context that can fully consider the social, political, cultural, environmental and economic implications of data-driven processes, highlighting the relevance of datafication for broader social justice concerns.

Bio: Dr Lina Dencik is Senior Lecturer at the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. Her research is concerned with the interplay between media developments and social and political change, with a particular focus on possibilities for resistance. She has recently completed work on the project 'Digital Citizenship and Surveillance Society: UK state-media-citizen relations after the Snowden leaks' that will be published in the forthcoming book Digital Citizenship in a Datafied Society: from active to monitored citizens (with Arne Hintz and Karin Wahl-Jorgensen, Polity Press). She is currently engaged in research on datafication and social justice with the newly established Data Justice Lab at Cardiff University where she acts as Co-Director.

ESRC Big Data, Employee Health & Well-being Seminar Series (supported by DSN)

Exploring the potential to assess the health and well-being of staff (and their organization more generally) via the vast amounts of digital data that is collected on their work practices and IT use.

Find out more...

Big Data and Journalist Safety

A networking event to bring established external Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) contacts and potential external contacts to the University of Sheffield to discuss and promote collaboration between researchers, representatives from NGOs, UNESCO and journalism in order to develop an interdisciplinary large scale, further details to be confirmed research funding application.

Identity and movement across Europe, 1945 to the present day

Journalistic representations of the movement of peoples within and across Europe from WWII to the present and ways to improve accessibility to these representations using digital technologies: scoping activities.

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