Technology and Inequality Roundtable Series: Summary of Discussions

Front cover of Technology and Inequality Roundtable Series Summary of Discussions
Number of pages

In November 2022, the British Academy convened three roundtable events as part of its project on Technology & Inequality. The roundtable series focused on the question: “How can digital technologies be harnessed to improve policies that tackle inequality, their design, and the equitable delivery of public services?”

Each roundtable convened a different set of stakeholders – local authorities, central government, and the private sector – examining their roles in tackling inequality, their relationships to digital technologies, and how different forms of data can be integrated to better understand and tackle inequality. This document summarises the key insights that emerged during the three roundtable events. Remarks from participants have been anonymised, synthesised, and grouped under relevant headings.

Three themes that emerged in each roundtable are summarised below.

Roundtable 1: The role of local authorities in using digital technology to address inequality

  • The importance of co-producing digital strategies with local communities
  • Central government had a role to play in supporting and joining up the work of local authorities on digital inclusion
  • The value and limitations of data in addressing local inequalities

Roundtable 2: The role of digital technology across government departments in policies that address inequality

  • Generating value from data across scales
  • Supporting data flows with networks and champions
  • Managing technical transitions

Roundtable 3: The role of the private sector in policies that use digital technology to address inequality and strengthen local infrastructure

  • Identifying the interests of businesses in addressing inequality
  • Aligning incentives to encourage cross-sector collaboration
  • Promoting digital skills to fill public sector skills gaps

Sign up to our email newsletters