Helena Hollis (she/her)

Field Building Lead

Helena is a social researcher with a strong participatory focus, committed to building participatory approaches through her work at CONNECTED BY DATA as Field Building Lead.

She formerly worked at the Institute for Community Studies, which is part of the Young Foundation, on a range of social policy oriented projects putting people at the heart of research. This work included focusing on AI and Data Governance in ‘left-behind places’, making research and innovation funding more accessible to marginalised communities, and social infrastructure.

Previously, Helena coordinated a UCL and British Academy research project on AI and the Future of Work, within which she focused on the meaning of “good” work, and on the potential impacts of data-driven technologies such as AI on the most vulnerable, marginalised and disenfranchised groups in society.

Helena has a PhD in Information Studies from UCL, building on her background as a librarian and research methods lecturer. Her PhD research explored the ways in which reading fiction can influence how we think critically, and she remains interested in the role of narratives in shaping our views and approaches.

I currently have the pleasure of working with our new cohort of Community Data Campaigns, five campaigns spanning health, housing, online harms, and care, all thinking about how their communities can be empowered through data. On the one hand, these are grassroots campaigns firmly rooted in the immediate needs of their communities, and on the other they are visionary in their thinking about systems change and shifting power to make data, and all that it impacts, more equitable for us all.

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Weeknotes are a combination of updates and personal reflection written on a routine basis

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