Putting people at the heart of new developments in artificial intelligence and digital technology will be the focus of a Digital Civics Exchange taking place at Northumbria University from the 20th-30th of May.

Digital Civics research seeks to explore the ways in which citizens and communities can be empowered in decision making processes and service provision – on both local and national scales – through the design of digital technologies that create more relational interactions with governments, political organisations, healthcare providers and civic authorities.

This May, academics, students, businesses, and people from local communities will come together for a series of events, including research projects, talks, panels, and workshops from leading researchers working in this field.

Established in 2018, the annual Digital Civics Exchange involves students from around the world visiting Newcastle and working with local researchers and partners to undertake mini research projects, focused on societal challenges and citizen empowerment through the design of civic technologies.

Northumbria University's Department of Computer and Information Sciences, which will host the Digital Civics Exchange event.

Registration is now closed.

Dr Kyle Montague:

“Through the Digital Civics Exchange, we are bringing together both academic and non-academic audiences interested in this area of research to better understand the role of digital citizenship and its impact on society.

Northumbria University is ideally placed to host this event, with our involvement in projects such as the Centre for Digital Citizens, the DCitizens project, and the new UKRI AI Centre for Doctoral Training in Citizen-Centred Artificial Intelligence at Northumbria, and we look forward to welcoming all those who share our focus on this important area of research.”

Dr Austin Toombs 

Colin Gray and I initiated the study abroad from Purdue University specifically because we wanted our students to have the chance to learn about Digital Civics from world experts on the topic. Over the last six years, the program has grown to include a broader scope and has fostered several new collaborations on the topic. We are incredibly excited to see how this exchange continues to develop over time!”

Dr Hugo Nicolau

“The ongoing collaboration with Northumbria University in the field of Digital Civics has opened new opportunities and empowered us to build capacity for ground-breaking research and innovation in the field. The student and staff exchange has been a critical instrument to share knowledge, craft new partnerships, and work on digital technologies to provoke positive social change.”

Professor Shaun Lawson:

I'm thrilled that we are hosting the Exchange again here in the Department and it’s been truly amazing to see how this has grown year on year. The collaborative relationship between all the universities involved is a joy to be part of. The added dimension this year of the new citizen-centred AI CDT into the ecosystem of Digital Civics projects here at Northumbria gives us further capability to continue to grow this area of research and offer further new collaborative opportunities to our international partners.”

Professor Pamela Briggs

“Too often, when technology hits the news, it is for the wrong reasons. The Post Office Horizon scandal is yet another example of the way we overlook the knowledge and understanding of ordinary citizens when considering the impact of digital technologies on our everyday lives. This work recognises that citizens have the right to be heard from the outset in the design, development and deployment of transformative new systems. ”