ESRC Digital Good Network

exploring equity, sustainability and resilience in people’s relationships with and through digital technologies

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Digital technologies are not always good for societies. Across research, policy, industry and civil society, how to define, measure and build good digital societies needs urgent attention. The digital good is ill-defined and contested, and the resulting lack of consensus can be harmful.

For example, algorithmic decision-making can introduce bias under the guise of fairness; policies designed to make social media safer are experienced by users as doing the opposite. To limit future harms and ensure that digital technologies have positive outcomes, the ESRC Digital Good Network (DGN) will deliver an interdisciplinary, social science-led research programme centred on the urgent, neglected question of what the digital good should look like and how it can be achieved.

DGN bridges disciplines and institutions and is global in outlook. It is led by transdisciplinary researchers at different career stages and by partners from policy, industry, community and cultural sectors. DGN will:

  1. support research projects and methodological innovation across disciplines and various dimensions of the digital good;
  2. offer internships, fellowships and training;
  3. host technology design sprints and workshops;
  4. co-produce research with policy, industry and communities; and
  5. produce a Digital Good Index, based on original research, horizon scanning and open data.

DGN is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI), as part of the ‘Living with Technology’ strategic priority and the ‘Digital Society’ priority in the 2022 plan. It's a ‘Network Plus’ - a strategic investment that aims to bring together new research communities and identifies, prioritises and develops emerging research challenges.

DGN Management Team