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Digital society

Rapid advancements in digital technologies have major implications for how people participate in society and the provision of public services. We aim to explore how such technologies alleviate, exacerbate and shift vulnerability, and affect concepts of trust, evidence and authority.

The impact of digital technologies and communications is one of the main themes identified in our strategy and cuts across our work in Education, Welfare and Justice. We have also established the Ada Lovelace Institute to ensure that data and AI work for people and society.

Our research explores how digital technologies affect people’s ability to exercise their rights and solve their problems, both in the formal setting of courts or tribunals, or when bargaining in the shadow of the law.

In an education context, we want to understand more about how people acquire digital skills and how digital technologies can improve teaching and learning, parental engagement and child development.

Fundamental to our work in digital society are questions about the collection, linkage and uses of data. We are interested in this from a rights and privacy perspective, as well as how the data infrastructure can be used or improved to better understand and explain people’s outcomes.

 

Our team


  • Alex Beer
    Senior Consultant, Welfare
  • Catherine Dennison
    Programme Head, Welfare

  • Director, Welfare

Our impact in digital society


Digital society projects

In progress

Education | 2019 – 2022

The SWAN game-based approach to learning foundational number language

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In progress

Welfare | 2019 – 2021

Living with data: knowledge, experiences and perceptions of data practices

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In progress

Welfare | 2019 – 2020

Valuing data: foundations for data policy

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In progress

Welfare | 2019 – 2021

Me and my big data: developing citizens’ data literacy

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In progress

Welfare | 2018 – 2019

Overview of the major ethical issues arising from data, algorithms and AI

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In progress

Justice | Welfare | 2017 – 2018

Visualising data in care proceedings

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Reported

Education | 2017 – 2018

Growing up digital

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Reported

General | Justice | Welfare | 2008 – 2008

Sharing children’s personal data

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Reported

Welfare | 2015 – 2016

Our world in data

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Latest in digital society

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.

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