CONNECTED BY DATA was established in March 2022 as a campaigning organisation working to put community at the heart of data narratives, policy and practices, and to advocate for collective and open data governance. Since then, we’ve grown from a single founder and funder, to a team of six on two continents, attracted funding from seven more donors and clients, and are working on a growing range of research, practice and policy projects, almost all involving a range of UK or international partners.
Our work during the first year of operation has highlighted a useful role we could play in building the field through convening, catalysing and supporting communities of practice and action. As a consequence, we are looking for a Field Building Associate to drive, shape and support our engagement across civil society, participation practitioners, community groups, policymakers, innovators and researchers, both in the UK and internationally.
Our team consists of our founder and Executive Director, Jeni Tennison, our Director of Research, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, two research associates and a policy and campaigns associate, and we are currently hiring a Head of Delivery and Operations. We know we all have a role to play in engaging our networks and providing value, but given the importance of a stronger field in this space, we think we need someone dedicated to nurturing it and helping us to engage our communities more effectively. In some areas that will look like shaping and leading engagement activities. In other areas it will be supporting other members of the team as they build coalitions and plan events.
We recognise that the communities we’re part of don’t belong to us. We want our convening to be generous, enabling and nurturing, potentially going off in different directions to those we originally intended. Impact needs to be measured in what the communities we’re part of achieve together, not in what we – as an organisation – achieve through them.
Getting practical, our existing engagement ranges across the usual social media channels, our website, a Discord server, targeted Signal groups and ad-hoc convening. During our first year of operation, we have held a range of successful virtual and in-person workshops and events. And we have a small fellowship community that meets regularly.
During the next year we want to step up our field building in three areas:
- convening a series of monthly connected conversations – short online roundtable events – creating a safe space for tackling the big questions in our field of collective data governance
- holding at least three 3-day-long design labs to co-create useful resources such as a narratives toolkit, materials to support public deliberation around data, and an international policy agenda
- expanding our fellowship network of early-to-mid career researchers, practitioners and professionals working in this space
The way we contribute to building the field needs to reflect our values. We want to focus on impact; to work in the open; to collaborate with and learn from others; to take the time to care for ourselves and each other; and to have fun together. Our work is founded on an awareness of power, privilege and pluralism inspired by feminism, intersectionality, and anti-colonialism. We want you to help us build these values into the communities we convene.
This is a great opportunity to influence the future of how data and AI works in our society, shape not just our organisation but also the wider ecosystem, work with a range of interesting people, and learn a lot on the way.
Who are you?
As our Field Building Associate, you should have skills and experience in:
- Community building and community engagement
- Designing and delivering events and workshops, both online and in person, that support shared learning, new connections, and coordinated action
- Managing online and in-person event logistics and administration
- Identifying and reaching out to external stakeholders, with an emphasis on building diverse and inclusive community
- Maintaining a strong network, preferably around data and digital rights
- Facilitating and chairing meetings
- Navigating group and power dynamics
- Using social media and online tools
- Using CRM and event management tools and services
- Verbal and written communication
- Collaborative working, including across organisations
- Investing in your own personal and professional development
- Preferably, project and budget management
- Preferably, fundraising
What will you do?
In your first 6 months, you’ll:
- Shape and deliver a series of small virtual events, including identifying speakers, contributors, and respondents, and writing up the discussion
- Shape and deliver a series of virtual and in-person design labs, including managing participants and ongoing coordination between them
- Support the growth of our fellowship programme, including identifying new fellows to join it
- Maintain and grow our existing networks through social media and other digital services
What else will you get?
Like the rest of the team, you ‘ll benefit from:
- flexible remote working
- 5 weeks (25 days pro rata) holiday + bank holidays
- 3 days company-wide holiday between Christmas and New Year
- 5% employer pension contributions
- other perks to be determined in consultation
What are the next steps?
If you are interested in this role, please send a CV and cover letter to email@example.com by 8am on 6th March 2023. The cover letter should describe your skills and experience against the criteria listed above, and why you are interested in the role.
If you have any questions about the role, or want to chat about it before applying, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not certain that you meet all the criteria, or want to explore a different working pattern, please consider applying anyway; there is considerable flexibility in the way this role could work. We are open to job shares and other flexible working arrangements (currently all of us work part time, fitting around other family, education and freelance work commitments).
We would particularly like to see applications from people from under-represented, marginalised or under-privileged backgrounds and communities.