Not-Equal Summer School
Social Justice and the Digital Economy
7-11 June 2021

Are you a UK-based PhD student or Early Career Researcher in HCI, Computing, Design, Data Science, Social Sciences or the Humanities interested in advancing social justice?

The UKRI-funded Not-Equal Network+ Summer School aims to equip the next generation of researchers with tools to help create the conditions to support social justice in the Digital Economy.

What do we understand social justice to be in the fast-changing world of living with, adjusting to and developing digital technology? What can we learn about changing values of social justice by considering the impact of the pandemic, the advent of Big Tech and the environmental crisis? What do we do differently in view of these dynamics?

Over four days you will work in teams to explore emerging and existing technology, looking at how conditions affect what we understand as power and social justice. This will offer you the conceptual and practical tools to help ask difficult questions around system change, power structures and inequities in our digital societies. You will develop strategies to build equity in collaborations, and create digital commons through your work. You will explore data as collective action, ethics in networked systems and engage in future-making together.

The summer school includes a programme of talks, workshops and panel sessions with leading academic in HCI, Design & Computer Science and more, across four themes:

  • The Evolution of Social Justice in the Age of Digital Networks and Machine Learning
  • Equitable Digital Economies
  • Making Data Work for Social Justice
  • Stories from our Socially Just Digital Futures

There will also be solidarity clinics on ethics and activism aimed to help you advocate for social change and navigate different contexts and power relations when engaging with communities, institutions, funders and industry.


Initial programme of activities. More details will be added soon.

Day one – 7 June 

Open to all

Opening session (evening): The Evolution of Social Justice in the age of Networks and Machine Learning


Dr Michael Muller, Research and Master Inventor, IBM
Professor Irina Shklovski, IT University of Copenhagen + TBC

Day two – 8 June 

Summer school only 

AM: Mapping social (in)justice in the Digital Economy
Workshop leader: Dr Cally Gatehouse, Northumbria University 

PM: Exploring systems change & radical inclusion
Workshop leader: TBC 

Open to all

Evening: Panel – Equity in Digital Economies 


Prof Ann Light
Associate Prof Maurizio Teli + TBC

Day three – 9 June 

Summer school only

AM: Creating & Sustaining Digital Commons
Workshop leader:
Professor Maurizio Teli, IT and Design, AI for the People, Techno-Anthropology and Participation, Aalborg University

PM: Strategies for building Equity in collaborations
Workshop leader:
Dr Andrea Botero, Academy Research Fellow, Aalto University 

Open to all 

Evening: Making Data Work for Social Justice


Prof Catherine D’Ignazio, MIT
Giselle Cori, Executive Director, DataKind UK 

Day four – 10 June

Summer School 

AM: Making Data Work for Social Justice
Workshop leaders: Professor Yvonne Mc Dermott Lees, Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law, Swansea University + TBC 

PM: Solidarity Clinic for Ethical Practices
Workshop leaders: Ann Light + Clara Crivellaro + TBC

Open to all 

Prof Carl Di Salvo, Georgia Institute of Technology + TBC 

Day five – 11 June 

AM + PM: Design Fictions for Social Justice
Workshops leaders:
Dr Joe Lindley, Lecturer, School of Design, Imagination Lancaster University + TBC

When and where will it take place?

The summer school will take place online between 7 – 11 June. There will be morning, afternoon and early evening sessions, with long breaks between. Bursaries for childcare support will be available, assuming conditions allow for it.

How can I take part?

There are 20 places available for UK-based early career researchers and doctoral candidates.

Fill in the application form here.

The sections ask you to tell us about yourself, why you want to take part, your previous experience, skills, interests; and what you are hoping to achieve.

The application deadline is 5pm 22 April and attendees will be notified on 27 April. There is no fee for the summer school, but you will be asked to commit to attending if you are invited to register.