Last Friday was my final day at IF.
I’ve had the privilege of working on some amazing projects over the last two and a half years. Some of my favourites include:
- Building an exhibition for Somerset House that explored how people can choose exactly how data about them is shared
- Making a handheld device to help the team map public Wi-Fi networks around East London for Google Open Research
- Imagining the EU in 2000 years time as a digital nation state that anyone can become a citizen of. (And making a machine for the Victoria & Albert Museum that let you become one of its first citizens)
- Using academic papers to design new ways of explaining automated decisions with London School of Economics
- Building a website with Open Rights Group that helps people find out how to use their new data protection rights
I’ve also spoken at conferences and panels including OpenTech, OggCamp and at University of Essex. Recently at Society in the Loop, I explored the impact that automated decision making has on vulnerable consumers and argued that developers need to have a better understanding of the societal impact of their work.
I even spent a week with a Year 10 work experience student, introducing them to programming and the design process. That was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.
Working in privacy and ethics helped me discover that working in technology is most compelling when it overlaps with other areas of society. Some areas I’ve been thinking about a lot lately are:
- Education — equipping young people with skills to use, and be critical of, existing and emerging technology
- Journalism — exploring new ways of digital storytelling and giving journalists the tools they need to navigate and interrogate how technology is used in society
- Public engagement — creating accessible and exciting interactive exhibits to explain complex ideas in technology and to promote discussion
These areas seem disparate, but they centre around my ambition: to use technology to help people challenge the way things are.
Alongside some exciting freelance work, that’s what I’ll be spending the next few months exploring. I’ll also be writing about some recent personal projects that touch on these areas.
If you’re doing interesting things in education, journalism, public engagement or anywhere technology is being used for positive impact, I’d love to chat about what you’re doing.