Professor Evelyn Ruppert, Director of Research for the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London will address the some of the world's most influential economic and public policy specialists when she speaks this week at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.
In her five-minute talk, ‘Enabling digitally inclusive societies’, today (18th January) Professor Ruppert will draw on her research on citizen rights and data to discuss how the internet can impact social cohesion - an increasingly pertinent theme for the WEF, which this year has put digital technology and its impact on economies and societies worldwide at the heart of its programme. Her talk is part of an Ideas Lab session, ‘The Science of Social Cohesion', organized by the European Research Council (ERC). Professor Ruppert is joining 8 other ERC grantees as part of a delegation to the WEF led by ERC President Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon.
Referring to her ERC project ARITHMUS, Professor Ruppert will outline how fostering and supporting citizen involvement in how the internet works is key to making digital societies inclusive rather than divisive and controlling. While expanding access to the internet is usually regarded as an answer to ending a digital divide, she will argue that it is also necessary to provide opportunities for people to become not merely users and consumers of the internet, but digital citizens with the power to shape what the internet should be.
This talk will be available on the WEF Youtube channel
At another invited session, on 19th January, Evelyn will join a panel of business leaders and human rights lawyers to discuss the timely question, ‘What if Privacy Becomes a Luxury Good?’
Organised as a partnership between WEF and TIME Magazine, the session will respond to the implications of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ for societies. The panel will be asked to discuss how digital devices are monitoring and compiling personal data and the uneven consequences this has for privacy.
This panel will be live streamed on the WEF website WEF website
Finally, she will respond to questions at a science hub session 'Ask about digitally inclusive societies’ on 20 January.
At Goldsmiths, Professor Ruppert champions the research theme Technologies, Worlds and Politics.
Professor Ruppert comments:
‘Digital technologies have the power to redefine how we conduct ourselves, form relations, participate in politics and organise our economies - for good or ill. It also has profound implications for our autonomy and privacy as citizens through the increasing generation and trading of volumes of data. At Davos, I'll be drawing on my research to argue that citizen digital rights are key to making the internet a space of empowerment and social cohesion. If internet data is to serve as a new source of knowledge about individuals and populations, then it is critical that citizen digital rights be central to government digital strategies'.