Equity, diversity and inclusion
About the Digital Good Network
The ESRC Digital Good Network is building a research community focused on what a good digital society should look like and how we get there. The network will:
- bring disciplines and sectors together
- support and fund interdisciplinary research, internships, fellowships
- provide training, including a summer school
- host events (eg talks, exhibitions, workshops, sprints)
- engage policy, industry, practitioners, communities and civil society
The network was launched in November 2022 with £4 million investment from the Economic and Social Research Council and £1 million from collaborating organisations.
Equity, diversity and inclusion at the network
The Digital Good Network is driven by an understanding that the way people as individuals, communities or societies experience digital technologies is determined by who they are. Put simply, different people experience the same technologies differently. We must, therefore, be inclusive and broad both in terms of how and what we are researching, and who is undertaking digital society research. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) are therefore at the heart of the Digital Good Network’s work.
The Digital Good Network is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which has its own EDI-related resources which we encourage those involved with the network to engage with.
- UKRI's EDI strategy
- UKRI's principles for EDI to support diverse and inclusive research and innovation
In this statement, we lay out the network's EDI-related goals, the expectations we have of network participants, and details of whose responsibility within the network it is to ensure that EDI is being considered in all our work.
Our EDI-related goals
We see equity as crucial to envisioning good relationships with and through digital technologies. This is why equity is one of the three core societal challenges we seek to address through our research.
In consideration of how to enact a focus on equity throughout our work, our goals include:
- Embedding (in)equity as a central focus of digital society research.
- Ensuring that some of the Digital Good Network’s research directly explores how equity and the digital good relate.
- Better representation from under-represented groups in the digital society research community, meaning more inclusive conversations and more widely beneficial research outcomes.
- Contributing to ongoing conversations about EDI and research higher education cultures, (e.g. through reports, engagement with our funder the ESRC, consulting EDI experts and our College of Experts).
We aim, where possible, to be open about the extent to which we are achieving this, for example by reporting EDI data. We will also explore and keep under review effective ways of making our work in this area visible and accountable, beyond data reporting.
Our EDI Expectations
The Digital Good Network is involved in a range of activities, including empirical research and dissemination work, funding decision-making and redistribution of public funding.
As a network, we both comprise and will come into contact with a range of people and organisations with diverse interests, goals and capacities. Accordingly, we have some clear principles in place about how we conduct ourselves in relation to EDI. We call these our EDI Expectations.
- Everybody in the network brings valuable experiential knowledge with them, and has important insights to be heard. Our activities will balance seeking out appropriate opportunities to hear everybody’s point of view with being respectful of difference and protected characteristics.
- Our Conflicts of Interests statement will be followed for all funding-related decision-making associated with the Digital Good Research Fund. The goals of our Conflicts of Interest statement are a) both to cultivate an environment in which people are open about saying where those potential conflicts are and b) to limit bias to ensure every individual has the opportunity of funding success.
- All applicants to the network’s Digital Good Research Fund should expect a fair and transparent application process. We will: make our decision-making criteria freely available to all applicants; support all applicants through a series of pre-funding call events to workshop ideas and network with other applicants; and provide feedback to all applicants to the Digital Good Research Fund.
- All successful applicants to the Digital Good Research Fund will contribute back to the network to cultivate its growth as an equitable, diverse, and inclusive research environment. In the spirit of equity, successful applicants are not only joining the Digital Good Network, but are also helping to build it, so they are expected to make a contribution that enables network building.
- Digital Good Network events should meet, and ideally exceed, baseline accessibility and inclusion criteria for events, for example by being physically accessible and ensuring a diverse roster of speakers.
Responsibilities for EDI
The Digital Good Network’s management team shares mutual responsibility for fostering an open environment for discussion about EDI-related matters. We recognise the way research environments operate can open up or close down dialogue, and that, as leaders of this network, we carry a responsibility to ensure that it is an inclusive and open research environment.
The network also has some central leadership elements that focus specifically on EDI-related matters:
- Dr Ros Williams, our Equity Challenge Lead champions the equity challenge area, ensuring it is represented in all network activities, and that our EDI-related goals, stated above, are kept in mind throughout all activities.
- A College of Experts will advise the network, including on EDI issues. EDI will be a standing item on all College of Experts meeting agendas
- Ruth Lauener, the Network Manager, oversees collection and reporting of data.