ESRC Digital Good Network


Digital Good Network Keynote Lecture: Charlton McIlwain – ‘Digital Good, Enough?’

Part of the Digital Good Network January 2024 Showcase

This event took place on Thursday 18 January 2024, at the University of Sheffield.

You can watch a recording of it below:

In a world of technology imperatives, lofty  aspirations and claims to deliver value with certainty, the notion of digital “good” seems quite – underwhelming. 

But could it be precisely the right concept for our moment, for those working to bridge the gap between our flawed (and for some, devastating) technology past and a different future? Can the concept of the digital good help move us towards change with significant enough scale and urgency, and at the same time temper our audacity with a realism that moves us to action rather than leaves us paralyzed and mired in the status quo?

Charlton McIlwain

Charlton Mcilwain 1

Author of the recent book, Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice – From the Afronet to Black Lives Matter (Oxford University Press, 2019), Charlton McIlwain is Vice Provost for Faculty Development & Engagement at New York University, and Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU Steinhardt. He works at the intersections of computing technology, race, inequality, and racial justice activism. He has served as an expert witness in landmark US Federal Court cases on reverse redlining/racial targeting in mortgage lending, and recently testified before the US House Committee on Financial Services about the impacts of automation and artificial intelligence on the financial services sector.

He writes regularly for outlets such as The Guardian, Slate’s Future Tense, MIT Technology Review and other outlets about the intersection of race and technology. McIlwain is the founder of the Center for Critical Race & Digital Studies, heads NYU’s Alliance for Public Interest Technology, is NYU’s Designee to the Public Interest Technology University Network, and is President of the board at Data & Society Research Institute.