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Hello and welcome to the February edition of the Society in the Loop newsletter! 

The relationship between not-for-profits and big tech companies has been called into question recently. The partnership between the World Food Programme and private software company, Palantir, has the potential to seriously undermine the rights of the people it serves. James Mullarkey explains why charities struggle with the confidence to take a step back from these big tech firms, even if engaging with them means inadvertently subverting intended goals and the best social intentions.

At Doteveryone, we're providing some additional support to leaders of charities and social enterprises to equip them with the framework, tools and confidence to lead their charity in a rapidly changing world. This will be with a series of free seminars we're running throughout March for leaders of charities and social enterprises in various locations across the country (London, Bristol, Birmingham & Manchester). Find out more and register your place by next Monday (25th Feb)

In other news, we recently hosted our second 
Yes to Redress! meet-up with Resolver at Yoti's offices (see 'Cool Stuff' for more Yoti related news). I've written a summary of the evening's discussions on what good redress looks like and we'll be scheduling the third and final meet-up for April. Details coming 🔜.

Until then, enjoy this month's digest of news from across the sector. 


Communications Manager

👨‍💻 Work 👩‍💻 

Remote working is all the rage, but how is this shaping society and people? Anna Goldfarb offers advice for recovering remote-workers (and includes the astounding claim that researchers have found a face-to-face chat is as effective as sending 34 email requests!) 📨

But then, edie. net has coined "sustainable snowdays" - making the environmental case for more out-of-office days. ❄️

And the work of the London Good Work Commission is set to kick-off soon, exploring, among other things, how to make a four-day working week happen.👊

In other news, this daily chart from the Economist shines a light on the "wage penalties" for mothers (how much women's earnings fall compared with their earnings a year before giving birth) across a range of countries. In the UK, it's a sobering 41% - sitting in the middle-ground between worst and best performers - Germany (61%) and Denmark (21%). Men's earnings across the board were unaffected by parenthood. 

⚖️ Rights and justice 

Technology's been back under the spotlight in the justice world this month, and not for good reasons: rights groups have been up in arms at the use of algorithms by police to predict crime hotspots, whilst the UK's court systems suffered a major IT system failure in late January.

65 lawyers, academics, musicians and rights organisations have also called on the Metropolitan police to stop using injunctions against musicians to prevent gang violence.  And the case against the UK government's bulk surveillance powers will be taking a trip to the European Court of Human Rights. A tough month for the UK justice system! 

🏛️ Public institutions and accountability

Homelessness in the UK has risen by 13% since 2012. That's the sobering reality in a new report from Crisis and Heriot-Watt University, which also shines a light on the changing nature of homelessness: for every person on the streets, there are also another 12 families or individuals stuck in precarious situations such as sofa-surfing or living in temporary accommodation. 

The Centre for Public Impact has taken a look at Finland's Housing First approach. They are the only country in Europe where homelessness has decreased in recent years. With Greater Manchester currently piloting a similar £28 million scheme, we hope this goes some way to tackle what is fast-becoming one of the major issues of our time. 

Collective actions

How Vermont's lo-fi "Front Porch" social network offers a model for localised online communities.

Shoshana Zoboff's new book on privacy-invading "surveillance capitalism" [an FT article so behind a paywall] has caused quite a stir - she explains to New Labor Forum how collective action is needed to tackle it. 

Taking lessons from the fight against racism to combat climate denial

Cool stuff

"An International Space Station for Work" 🛰️

Yoti staff have five "Selfie Days" a year to provide support charities in the areas they need it the most 🤳

...and a little left-field 👈

This month's left-field has a cyborg hue: our take on why we need to talk differently about automation and care, the worrying rise in selfie-deaths and a (speculative) history of robot sex 2018-20173 🤖💚🤖
🗣️ Have your say 🗣️

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