Catalysing Communities Campaigns

To protect and build data rights in the UK

Data and AI are changing our world… community led campaigns can reshape how.

We are launching a ‘Community Campaigns on Data’ cohort. The cohort will bring together up to five different campaigns to explore together through monthly shared learning sessions, access to 1-to-1 advice, and bespoke expert input to advance community led campaigns on data.

The cohort is for community led campaigns that are seeking to:

  • Change how data is collected in relation to a particular community;
  • Stop or modify proposed uses of data;
  • Give affected communities ongoing voice in how data is governed; or
  • Get community-generated data taken into account when policy is made

Expressions of interest are open here until 11th March.

About the Community Campaigns on Data Cohort

Community A group or organisation brought together by geography, identity, or the impacts of particular data and technology … Campaigns … seeking to bring about a clearly defined change in … on data … how data is collected, used or governed - so that it better serves community interests.

The Action Learning Cohort will run from April to September 2024 and we expect the time commitment to be circa 3 hours a month. The sessions will be mainly online with two face to face London based sessions (at the beginning and end of the cohort). There is no cost to the cohort member and we will fund a £3k stipend + travel expenses.

We’ll design the programme to meet participant needs, and expect to cover:

  • Engaging and mobilising communities around data and technology;
  • Creating compelling media stories on data issues;
  • Local and national policy engagement on data;
  • Using data and legal rights as a campaign tool;
  • Expert advice on in-depth technology issues.

We are running a short expression of interest process to identify potential participants and are open to applications from grassroots, local and national campaigns (UK based). We particularly welcome expressions of interest from campaigners from underrepresented communities and will make adaptations where we can to remove barriers to participation. We will select participants for the cohort to maximise the opportunities for shared learning across the cohort. Participants will be asked to write a short blog post about their experience at the end of the project. This will be the only reporting requirement.

Key dates

  • 12 noon (UK time) Monday 11 March 2024: Closing date for expressions of interest
  • You will hear from us by 29th March 2024
  • Project runs: April to September 2024

For more information

Read our summary of the cohort here, or view below.

Catalysing Communities

Communities are affected daily by data governance decisions made by others, whether corporations, local and national government, or civil society organisations, at home, in education, and at work.

They may be made the target of damaging or biassed policies as a result of profiling; miss the opportunity to benefit from cutting edge research by being absent or underrepresented in key datasets; or feel caricatured and disenfranchised through the way data is collected about them. At the same time this is increasingly intensified through the use of AI and automated decision making built on this data, where a lack of transparency and accountability or redress has the potential for even great harms.

We are particularly grateful to Luminate for their generous help and support for this work.

Our lives have become digitised. Data about who we are, what we do and the environment we live and work in is collected about us constantly, whether we realise it or not. Whoever controls that data, be that big corporations or governments, has incredible power.

Yet, amid the hype and worry about the data-driven transformation of our world, there is often something conspicuously missing: personal stories. They ground our understanding that this change is not a remote future, but is a reality in progress that is affecting every relationship and interaction we have, as workers, family members, consumers and as citizens.

By hearing the voices of individuals we can better see the impacts of a datafied society. How we are affected is dependent on our individual circumstances, but the power of data is on a societal level. Whether at school, at work or in the justice system, there is a need to bring in this collective voice.

Through these stories, we aim to not only illustrate the reality of the impact of data on our lives, but to point the way towards a different approach, including:

  • a focus on the wider impact of the collection and use of data
  • rights for all those affected by data-driven decisions
  • processes of participation for the public to help shape a datafied society

Our first data stories report focused on people at work. This report, written with Just Treatment, focuses on how people experience data when interacting with health services.

 Read more

Do you collect, use or share data?

We can help you build trust with your customers, clients or citizens

 Read more

Do you want data to be used in your community’s interests?

We can help you organise to ensure that data benefits your community

 Read more