Last year we made this film — focussed on the role of funders in forging a new social contract between civil society and big tech. We also did several events bringing together Trusts and Foundations to hear about what they did and didn’t understand about technological change and especially how they perceived technology to be affecting the issue areas they cared about and wanted to invest in. We heard that many funders still find it hard to make the link between tech power and its implications on social, racial and climate justice (the narrative is so dominated by a ‘rights’ lens), or to anticipate technology trends.

As part of a response to this we hold monthly learning sessions for Trusts and Foundations. Here are the recorded sessions from the previous three.

This month Rachel Coldicutt was in conversation with Jennie Winhall talking about the impacts of technology on work — the patterns of work, the institutions of work, and workers rights. Jennie is the Director of Social Innovation at the Rockwool Foundation in Denmark and Co-founder of Alt/Now, through which she’s been developing systems innovation initiatives focussed on the future of work over the last 5 years.

In the conversation Rachel and Jennie talk about some of the trends of technology and its impacts on work. Why the relationship between work and technology is a social justice issue and where there is opportunity for the meaning and pattern of work to be shaped differently.

Last month Rachel was in conversation with Alastair Parvin. Alastair is the Founder of Open Systems Lab working on open digital innovation for industry and society. Rachel and Alastair discuss what a ‘Citizen Sector’ means, the role of ‘public interest technology’, and especially the relationship between technology, housing and land.

It’s worth also reading Alastair’s latest blog about A New Land Contract.

Three months Rachel was conversation with Dr. William Isaac about Algorithms, Race and Technology. William is a Senior Research Scientist with DeepMind’s Ethics and Society Team. Prior to DeepMind, William served as an Open Society Foundations Fellow and Research Advisor for the Human Rights Data Analysis Group focusing on algorithmic bias and fairness. He recently published an excellent paper on how community participation can improve fairness in machine learning.

He took part in this event outside of his role at DeepMind.

In this conversation Rachel and William talk about AI ethics and why it’s such an important field right now. They cover how automation can expose bias and unfairness in really stark and uncompromising ways, the groups that are particularly discriminated against and how that can affect people’s lives. They also discuss whether as racism and discrimination has been such an ingrained part of Western culture it’s possible to get to unbiased data sets and algorithms.

If you work as a Funder and would like to sign up to the monthly Funders Learn Tech events, then you can do so here.

Written by

Senior Head, UK Portfolio at The National Lottery Community Fund & Co-founder of the Point People. Previously Strategic Design Director at Doteveryone.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store