DataJam Event Series #7 Digital Exclusion

While digital technology brings benefits for many in society there are those who remain excluded – in some cases not only losing out on new opportunities but seeing their access to services eroded as digital access replaces all other means.

In this webinar, hosted by DataJam North East, NICD and Analyst Network North East, we explore key questions around Digital Exclusion including:

  • What do we mean by digital exclusion?
  • Who are the people in our communities who are suffering loss through that exclusion?
  • To what extent are people adversely impacted?
  • How can we either improve their ability to access digital services or adapt services so that everyone can access them?

We examine these issues to gain insight into the problems of digital exclusion faced by groups within society and to explore how those problems might be overcome.


  • Welcome | Steve Caughey, DataJam North East
  • Speed Talks
  • Open Q&A and Discussion
  • Wrap Up


Mark Martin MBE | Lead, UKBlackTech

Title: Computer Science For All

Nurturing homegrown talent in Computer Science means ensuring access, transparency and awareness of opportunities is apparent. Mark will explore where are at as country and what we need to do improve before it too late.


Professor Lynne Corner | Gerontologist and Director of VOICE at National Innovation Centre for Aging

Talk: Ageing Intelligence: Democratising Healthy Longevity

VOICE is an international organisation established to harness the immense experience, skills and insights of the public, of all ages and backgrounds, including older people with dementia. Lynne has a particular interest in horizon scanning for innovation, inter-generational relationships and the use of AI and data. She established the Int. Dementia Knowledge Exchange and innovation Hub and is a Trustee of the Lewy Body Dementia Society. NICA and VOICE work with businesses from all sectors to help develop their strategies for capitalising on the immense commercial opportunities for growth from global population ageing.


Adam Parnaby | Inclusive Economy Research Assistant, North of Tyne Combined Authority

Talk: What’s So Complicated About Digital Exclusion? Data Challenges in Digital Inequalities.

Digital exclusion is far more complex than a divide between internet users and internet non-users. It begs questions that are as much cultural as they are technical, and requires interventions that are as much about community education and equitable design as they are about broadband infrastructure. It is inextricably tied to some of the most wicked problems our society faces.

In this talk Adam will give a brief overview on the topic of digital exclusion, and the sociotechnical complexities of being digitally excluded in a 21st century society. He will discuss what challenges exist in building a useful data infrastructure for designing responsive policy and interventions in this space, and invite the audience to consider what a path forward might look like.


Ben Carpenter | Inclusive Services Lead, Central Digital and Data Office

Talk: Universal Barriers to effective government

We look at the 11 reasons why people don't get what they need from your policy or service, and how they're being excluded.


Colin Watson | Open Lab, Newcastle University

Talk: Burdens leading to exclusion

What can we learn from citizens themselves? Colin will summarise early findings from his work involving people interacting with online welfare benefit systems, describing how everyday people's exclusion can vary independently from digital access availability and their own capabilities.


Dr Raghda Zahran | Learning and Teaching Development Service, Newcastle University

Talk: Digital inclusion within the context of a Learning Health: A taster of Participatory Design and Co-Design

Participatory design and co-design were explored in Learning Health Project with representative patients, healthcare professionals, academics, along with UX designers and software providers. Their participation was aimed at promoting patients and clinicians’ inclusion in the development of healthcare systems. The participants’ engagement, reflections, and method customisation evidence that involving key stakeholders in the design processes offers a sensible, responsible and ethical approach to the development of Learning Health Systems.

Steven Bacon | Client Sales Manager (North East) Vodafone

Talk: Stepping up to Tackle Digital Exclusion

During COVID Vodafone launched initiatives to help fight digital exclusion, they were really successful and helped several hundred thousands of people remain connected at a critical time, this made us realise how big the divide is, so we have decided to do even more. We will cover what we did and how we did it, as well as letting you know what we have planned for the future alongside The Trussell Trust.