Responsible innovation monthly round up – February

Written by Catherine Makin on 20 Feb, 20
Responsible innovation

A regular update on activities within our responsible innovation theme.

What we’ve been doing:

Internally, we’ve been reviewing our planned initiatives for the year ahead. We’ve got some exciting irons in the fire, and look forward to sharing more details as the year progresses. Keep an eye on these updates and on the News and Projects pages of our website for further details.

Where we’ve been and what we’ve seen:

I was invited to speak at a Bristol Poverty Institute seminar, on Digital Inclusion, as their first ever external (non-academic) guest speaker. It was a fascinating session, with varied and impassioned perspectives on digital inclusion and exclusion, with inputs from academic disciplines including human geography, management, politics, sustainability, computer systems, digital inequalities and urban futures. Topics of discussion ranged across equity of access to digital technologies, inclusive innovation and surveillance capitalism (how personal data and information is monetised and used for commercial gain), computer science education, and power and control.

What we’ve read:

Bristol has recently released findings from the latest Quality of Life survey (full analysis to follow in March) which indicates a 10% points gap between people being “comfortable using digital services” in the most deprived areas (72%) compared to the city-wide average (82%). Similarly, access to the internet at home remained consistently high from previous years, at 95%, but is significantly lower in the most deprived communities (89%). This highlights the persistent digital divide in Bristol that we are working to address.

We’ve been inspired by Digital Stockport‘s work on Digital Inclusion and the simple terms they use to explain some of its concepts. We’re always on the look out for good practice and inspiration from other cities to inform our work in Bristol. If you’re working on Digital Inclusion or Responsible Innovation in local government and want to share ideas, please get in touch: city.innovation@bristol.gov.uk

What we’re looking forward to:

To round off the month, Lloyds Bank Academy are running a session for colleagues in our Communities and Neighbourhoods Team, as part of an internal pilot to increase digital skills. The pilot aims to increase knowledge and awareness of digital inclusion and skills within Bristol City Council’s Communities and Neighbourhoods Team, and support the team to share digital skills with residents to enable social action and community organising.

The Lloyd’s Bank Academy session will look at how the Communities and Neighbourhoods Team can use social media to communicate with and support the communities they work with.

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