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Hello and thanks for reading the 6th edition of Society In The Loop.

It’s now a month since our first SITL event, bringing together civil society, the social sciences and the tech industry.  That day started a lot of great conversations and clearly sparked an appetite for more.  Along with our partners, the Ada Lovelace Institute and Civil Society Futures, we’re working out what we should do together next and are considering some themed smaller events to pick up on all the great discussions - do get in touch if you'd like to be part of that or if you  have other ideas.

Sadly, this is my last newsletter as I leave Doteveryone and move on to the Big Lottery Fund to take up a new role as Head of Digital Grant Making. But Society in the Loop will continue and I look forward to staying part of this community -  as Geoff Mulgan’s recent diagnosis of the social sector shows and Doteveryone's Rachel Coldicutt explains in her new essay on social infrastructure, it's something that is very much needed! 

Cassie 👋

👨‍💻 Work 👩‍💻

Last week Uber drivers across the land (along with smaller rebellious factions of Wetherspoons, Deliveroo, McDonalds and TGI Fridays workers) ‘crossed the digital picket line’ to stage a 24-hour walkout over their working conditions.

Meanwhile in the US, the Innovating Inequality report highlights that despite Silicon Valley leading the nation in per capita economic growth, nearly 9 in 10 jobs in the Valley pay lower wages today in real terms than they did 20 years ago.

The Economist reminds us of some of the upsides to flexible working and points to tax and benefit reform as the solution to the downsides. But there's more bad news from Professor Chris Forde who says little has improved for gig workers since he reported on the issue for the European Parliament last year, and University of Oxford research finding the digital gig economy is bad for well-being.

The bigger picture: we're moving from theoretical debate to action on the ground, as platform workers begin to organise and mobilise as a collective force. Both welcome developments in our book. 

⚖️ Rights and justice 

The Human Rights Act recently celebrated its 20th Birthday 🎂. With the Act out of its adolescent years, Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights has marked the occasion by opening an inquiry into its effectiveness - everyone's idea of a birthday treat, we're sure.  

An Equality and Human Right Commission report to the UN found that the rights of disabled people have been further eroded since the UK was harshly criticised last year. 


A ray of sunshine amidst this gloom - UCL’s Project Impactive is connecting engineering students with people living with disabilities to co-create equipment to help them lead a more fulfilling life. 👏

🏛️ Public institutions and accountability

There are worries that the British press hasn't quite got its priorities right - with an underwhelming amount of coverage of the IPCC's warning that we have 12 years to fundamentally restructure our society and economy in the face of climate change.   There was more scorn from Jean-Claude Juncker who accused British hacks of violating politicians' human rights.

Elsewhere Politico reckons policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic need their own dose of reform in how they deal with online misinformation. (Time for a plug for Doteveryone's own recommendations for rethinking digital regulation in the UK which look at similar issues).

Collective actions

“Liquid Democracy” - offers a way to overcome the divisions of partisan politics.

How getting a whole-school to collaborate can help young people's mental health.

Cool stuff

The London Borough of Barking & Dagenham has released a “borough data explorer” that compares London’s boroughs on 87 different measures for quality of life.

Kate Crawford & Vladan Joler’s excellent Anatomy an AI System project is a fascinating anatomical map of the human labour, data and planetary resources that go into an Amazon Echo. Eye-opening stuff.

...and a little left-field 👈


💊 Beyond Goop and Evil: Gwyneth Paltrow’s curious feminist logic, the resounding success of Dr. Who’s first female Doctor and the unintended consequences of rewilding (spoiler: 🐗 wild boars take over the Italian town of Genoa). 
🗣️ Have your say 🗣️

Got a story to tell? Burning issue to raise? Fancy being a Guest Editor?

Get in touch at hello@doteveryone.org
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