Responsible innovation monthly round up – August/September

Written by Catherine Makin on 18 Sep, 20
Responsible innovation

A regular update on activities within our responsible innovation theme.

What we’ve been doing:

We’ve begun an exciting partnership project to improve the council’s data governance processes and practice. We’ve also been working away behind the scenes to support Bristol’s COVID-19 recovery plans.

Where we’ve been and what we’ve seen:

Our Smart City and Innovation Manager, Freyja Lockwood, joins a panel at Connected Britain: Virtual next week on 23 September, to discuss “What makes a smart city a success?”. The panel discussion is moderated by Theo Blackwell, Chief Digital Officer for London.

Registration for the three day event (23-25 September) is free for the public sector. Event themes include full-fibre and 5G rollouts, the digital economy, smart cities and digital infrastructure development, digital inclusion and the evolving enterprise ICT landscape.

What we’ve read:

The Good Things Foundation has announced a call to Fix the Digital Divide with the launch of their “Blueprint for a 100% Digitally Included UK”. The focus is on COVID-19 economic recovery and we agree that being digitally connected has never felt more important. The manifesto illustrates the link between issues of digital exclusion and wider social exclusion. It reinforces the importance of digital in economic recovery, but recognises the need for human interaction to accompany digital technologies and digital services.

It’s also brought to our attention an online learning platform called The Skills Toolkit, which gives people access to free digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects. Digital skills can be anything from using social media and staying safe online to coding, programming or digital marketing.

What we want to share:


Digital Cities Virtual takes place from 22-24 September with a series of free online events and training for the creative industries. With events running across three streams, including Digital Skills, the BBC Academy will be offering sessions about creating social content, showcasing your personal brand online, and building networks on social media.

The GovTech Summit takes place online on 29 September. The Summit brings together technological innovators with public sector decision makers to rethink how governments can operate and thrive in the new post-COVID-19 world.

We’ve been helping shape the smart cities stream of this year’s Anthropology and Technology Conference. The Bristol-founded two-day event returns for its second year to champion socially responsible artificial intelligence (AI) and explore the role that social scientists can and should play in the development of digital technologies. The main conference takes place online on 9 October with free, online workshops running on 12 October. Tickets at

Also in October, the annual Get Online Week returns, running from 19-25 October. Get Online Week brings together events across the country with the aim of supporting people to improve their digital skills and make use of the internet.


UWE Bristol have opened a second round of the Digital Innovation Fund: a £1m Covid-19 Recovery Fund. The fund will help support SMEs in the West of England to innovate and solve new challenges created by the pandemic. The deadline for applications is 10 November.


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