Design sprints are a methodology pioneered by Google to tackle difficult ‘digital’ problems. The main idea is to bring people together from different disciplines and intensively facilitate them through a process to draw out new and innovative ideas.

We were keen to explore how we could make this work for government, and to explore how this ‘digital’ problem-solving technique could help us tackle something as complex and challenging as child sexual exploitation.

Jelena, a policy lead at the MOJ, sets out the design challenge for the teams

Jelena, a policy lead at the MOJ, sets out the design challenge for the teams

“Success is 99% failure” – Why choose a design sprint to solve a policy challenge?

In the Ministry of Justice, we passionately believe that government has an obligation to explore new ways of working in order to deliver more effective solutions. So, it’s important that we experiment with new approaches so that we can produce new and surprising results, and sometimes fail – As Soichiro Honda, the founder of the Honda Motor Company, said, “success is 99% failure.”

This is especially true because the types of problems we’re solving are hugely complex. We’re not just trying to sell more bottles of fizzy water than the next guy, we’re trying to tackle huge societal issues like child sexual exploitation, reforming offenders, and supporting victims. To do this, we need to draw upon expertise that sits inside and outside government, across different specialists and involving people with different experiences.

Design Thinking and the Design Sprint is a brilliant methodology to start to do this. We’ve found that it breaks down barriers, removes hierarchy and eradicates all of the bureaucracy around ‘getting something done’.

“Inspired by ‘The Fix”

Design Sprints and the idea of ‘Open Policy Making’ aren’t new. We’ve been inspired by the Fix and #OneTeamGov who are connecting people and showcasing how design thinking can solve complex challenges. That’s why, when Design Thinkers Academy (DTA) and What Design Can Do (WDCD) approached us to run a collaborative design sprint about a topic we really cared about, we jumped at the chance. When the Royal College of Art (RCA) said we could use their space as long as we allowed their students to get involved, we were overjoyed.

What’s involved?

Running a design sprint isn’t easy. It took us 2 months to prepare for a three and a half day sprint.

A design sprint starts with the research. Good outputs are built on having great research for participants to work from. Teams then come together to tackle a specific brief. They speak to experts and build prototypes in a very short amount of time, all the time refining their idea and the scope of their brief.

At the end of the sprint there’s a ‘judging panel’ where the best ideas are chosen by a group of experts.

We learned that while it can be labour intensive, people were willing to give their time and effort to help solve a genuinely ‘wicked problem’. As Jelena, a policy lead for victims here in the Ministry of Justice said, we learned that “government does not have a monopoly on caring”.

You can watch this video to find out what it’s like to participate in a design sprint.

What’s next?

Of course, it has its limitations. It can be difficult to tackle a dark topic such as CSE through a creative process like a design sprint. In addition, the method has become notorious for not actually leading to practical implementation.

Wary of this, and keen to make a difference in this space, we’re supporting the RCA students who are continuing to develop the sprint outputs as part of their final year project. Their ideas will be presented at an international conference in Rotterdam this November alongside international teams who have also contributed to the global challenge.

I want to run a ‘Policy Design Sprint’ too!

Design Sprints are a fantastic way to build a genuinely collaborative team around a complex challenge. It’s important we do this regularly in order to bring new perspectives and build partnerships that enable us to solve these challenges. By the end of our sprint, our teams were exhausted but really pleased with how far they’d come.

If you want to get further insight into Design Sprints, read DTA’s article, or check out this post from the guys who wrote the book (literally) on Design Sprints.

Check out the ‘The Fix’, a BBC programme that showcases how powerful a design thinking methodology can be when applied to difficult social problems.

Also have a look at the #OneTeamGov movement, which is committed to bringing together people from inside and outside government in order to reform the way we solve problems.

And if you want to hear what the MOJ is doing to transform the way we solve problems in government, please get in touch!

Huge thanks to the following partners we worked with on this project:

  • What Design Can Do
  • Design Thinkers Academy
  • StBy
  • Royal College of Art and the students
  • Faststream volunteers

Original source – MOJ Digital & Technology

People sitting around a table observing a user research session on a screen

As user researchers we have a responsibility to consider the safety of participants and of ourselves.

While most user research is low-risk, we sometimes explore emotionally sensitive topics and visit participants’ homes and businesses. Sometimes our research can uncover wrongdoing.

The recent cross-government user research meetup focused on safety for both participants and researchers. We looked at some current practices and how we can strengthen them.

Here are some of the topics we covered:

Making sure research participants are safe

Participant safeguarding is particularly relevant when working with vulnerable groups. For example people who are homeless, have mental health issues or are victims of domestic abuse.

However, safeguarding issues can come up even when you’re working with groups you might not consider to be ‘vulnerable’. A lot of people have experienced some kind of trauma, for example loss or being a victim of crime, and this might come up in research.

Being aware of safeguarding is useful even when you don’t expect to need it.

What constitutes ‘safeguarding’ in user research?

At the meetup we discussed protecting participant’s data and identity in line with GDPR.

Another aspect of safeguarding is ensuring participants understand what they’re signing up for, in order to give informed consent. The Service Manual says for consent to be informed, participants need to understand what your research involves.

Should we help participants who need further support?

Some people talked about wanting to help participants solve their problems. But we should be conscious of moving too far towards giving people advice.

To maintain objectivity in research, we agreed our role is to understand and not to advise. But we talked about ways we can help participants to help themselves, for example by directing them to places where they can find more information or support.

It can be helpful to speak to subject-matter experts before the research to find out if there are any sensitive topics you might encounter and to find any resources that might help. In some cases you might need to have a support worker in the room during research.

There are organisations that provide support to certain groups, such as mental health charities or victim support groups. Working with such organisations can help to ensure both the participant and the researcher get appropriate support.

Making sure researchers have emotional support

Our role as researchers is to help users tell their stories. Sometimes our research can be the first time anyone has really listened to them and their experiences using government services. They can get quite emotional about it, which can have an impact on the researchers listening to those stories.

Give yourself down-time after a session, if you need it

Running research can be draining and everyone will have their own way of decompressing – for example going to the pub or going home to the sofa. The test is whether you’re able to leave work at work and stop thinking about it in your own time.

Look after ourselves so we can safeguard others

It’s important to understand our own biases and triggers before going into any session. If you’ve personally had a upsetting past experience related to a particular topic, then decide whether you’re able to objectively listen to others tell their traumatic experiences.

Process the impact of the stories you have heard

Think about how user’s stories might affect both your analysis and your wellbeing. You could do this on your own or as a team. This is known as being reflexive.

It can be hard to find the time to reflect in the fast pace of agile working, but it’s important. An option could be to have mandatory debriefings with the team after a round of research to monitor the psychological effects that research can have on us.

2 people looking at a digital service on a computer screen. Only their hands are visible

Making sure you’re safe in the field

This can be an issue when researchers are going outside of the lab to meet participants.

Choose a safe space

The research location should feel safe for both participants and researchers. There are a few steps you can take:

Think about recruitment

It’s ok to screen participants out if you think there may be issues that will make you uncomfortable.

At the meetup, one researcher gave an example of visiting the homes of people who owned pets. She’s scared of dogs but felt unable to speak up out of concern to not alienate the participants. You can ask questions at screening to prevent these situations.

Another researcher said she was verbally abused by a participant when visiting them in a job centre. She asked the work coach about it afterwards and discovered this participant had been aggressive with other job centre staff too.

She realised this situation could have been prevented if she’d spoken to work coaches beforehand, either to uncover potential issues or to screen out participants who might make the research unnecessarily difficult.

Prepare beforehand

At the meetup, several researchers mentioned ways in which they plan for different possible scenarios before stepping outside the office. For example:

  • contacting a colleague in the office to let them know when you enter a participant’s home and when you leave
  • having a ‘safe word’ with the team member accompanying you, for times when you’re starting to feel uneasy and want to check whether your colleague feels the same

Building on this work

Some departments already have their own policies in place around safeguarding and disclosure.

We’re now working to gather these policies to see if we can form cross-government guidance on participant safeguarding and researcher safety, so we can help everyone involved in user research.

Follow GDS on Twitter and remember to sign up for blog alerts.

Original source – User research in government

Integration of AI and automation
I’m in the process of researching the topic of ‘Intelligent Automation’ for Warwick Business School’s Innovation Network, with a view to organising a member’s workshop for sometime in the second quarter of 2019. As with most emergent technologies, the real challenge is getting beyond the marketing hype and snake-oil salesmen and finding real evidence of innovation and value creation. This is no easy task, not least navigating through a new and rapidly changing lexicon, that embraces (but is not limited to) Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DL), Supervised/Unsupervised/Semi-Supervised/Reinforcement Learning,  Natural Language Processing (NLP), Robotic Process Automation (RPA)  – to name but a few. And all of this before wading into the interminable debate about what we mean by “Intelligent”.

I’m at the beginning of my research journey, with much reading, conference attending and digesting of webinars and podcasts yet to do, but it’s clear to me already that there is a blurry line between “AI” and “automation” with some solution providers eager to jump on the AI bandwagon for products that appear to have some intelligence, but in fact are just using rule-based algorithms.

Difference between AI and automation

This is fine if they are meeting a valid business need, but I really would like to discover whether there are solutions out there that are truly integrating some aspect of cognitive processing (call it AI for now) with automation, and, perhaps more importantly, actually delivering business value. But I’m looking beyond ROI, which in more cases than not is based on made-up numbers.

So, much more research  do, but I was enlightened by this article from Stacey McIntosh (@staceythemac), which puts much of the hype and jargon into context, with some useful examples of how AI-automation is being used. Well worth a read.

I’ll post again on this topic once I’ve had more time to dig into it.  If anyone has recommended sources or articles, please get in touch. Better still if you can demonstrate some evidence of ‘Intelligent Automation’!

 

 

 

Original source – Steve Dale online

NEWS CHANGE: How newspapers are re-inventing themselves for a chance of survival

Posted: November 20, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: communications |Leave a comment

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As a keen junior newspaper reporter, I was once told the key to writing features was to put the best quote in the intro.

So, John Lennon’s ‘Beatles are bigger than Jesus’ should always shout from the first paragraph to reel the reader in.

I was reminded of this gem listening to Marc Reeves, editor-in-chief Reach Midlands, talk at the FirePro conference about what the present and future of newspapers looks like.

First, a disclosure. I’m from newspaper’s past. I started off on a hot metal newspaper, learned shorthand on an NCTJ Pre-Entry certificate and learned how to write a news story to deadline and quietly keep something back for the over-night schedule. I loved being a reporter. But all the newspaper offices I’ve ever worked in have closed and the industry as I knew it is dead. But a new one that can look the 21st century in the face has emerged.

Second, a disclosure. I’ve known of Marc Reeves for at least a decade. His ideas around Business Desk‘s online business news service helped shape in part shaped the partnership that became comms2point0. Six links in the morning? That was originally an idea that translated.

Here are NINE things that could be the first paragraph.

‘I can reach 40 times the audience online compared to print.’

When I had my interview for my NCTJ Pre-Entry certificate in 1994, I was asked what impact the internet would have on newspapers. “Until,” I replied “people can read the internet on the toilet, on the bus or while watching the telly it won’t totally overtake it. But there should be enough time to work out how to use it.”

Newspapers used to be licenses to print money. And then came the internet to take their lunch, dinner and breakfast. Small ads are now ebay and buy and sell groups on Facebook. Sports reporting is now Twitter and the podcast. Lucrative property ads have moved online.

What remains is a hollowed-out industry that has has cut jobs, cut corners and cuts and pastes your press release to get a page away. Print revenues have declined in line with the glimmer of hope in the eye of the freshly minted journalism recruit.

‘I can reach 40 times the audience online compared to print,’ says Marc.

‘The press release is almost obsolete’

What matters is a decent story well told. So, the days and weeks spent on signing off a press release is becoming increasingly fruitless.

‘We’re creating a digital lifeboat for when print sinks.’

Reach are rolling out new brands that build on what came before but are different in look and feel. For the Birmingham Mail this is now online BirminghamLive on Facebook and online.

The switch works fine in Birmingham. But county boundaries don’t slice so easily. So, news from the Staffordshire market town of Uttoxeter in DerbyshireLive jars for some people.

But 14k print sales of the Birmingham Mail and 450k daily uniques on BirminghamLive says in numbers where the future lies.

“We’re creating a digital lifeboat for when print sinks,” Marc says.

‘There will be fewer newspapers.’

Smaller titles will close, Marc warns. More will go.

Just days after he spoke, Johnstone Press was put up for sale and bought to shed more than £100m of debt.

‘Journalism used to be a one way process. We shouted and you listened. Not anymore.’

I remember the role of the central role of the newspaper as the absolute gatekeeper of what was news and what was important. What they’re becoming better at is looking at the stats to see what works and what doesn’t and seeing what is important to people.

Reporters get to know their patch by joining Facebook groups

Back in the day, on my first proper newspaper I had the patches of Cradley, Hayley Green and Hasbury. I got to know them by ringing around contacts and going out on them. I met the newsagent and the florist who became a vital source of stories.

For the Birmingham Mail / BirminghamLive the beat includes joining the Facebook group, too. But interestingly, Marc says the same rules apply. Their reporters need to build trust and be careful to nurture it.

Video remains key but standards have improved

Video as a driver of traffic is not new but the quality threshold if anything has risen. Not just any old video, please. Good video that tells a story on a subject readers want to know about, Marc says.

Big newspaper groups have a better chance

Big groups like Reach have a larger clout in the sector so have a greater chance of success. The group has more than 100 titles. The often quoted line about print dollars and digital dimes has a ring of truth.

The role of journalist has changed

Days after this session the Birmingham Mail – or BirminghamLive which ever way you want to look at it – appointed a replacement for local government editor. Jane Haynes is the new editor politics and people. I bumped into Jane about 12-months ago on a train. She’d left local government to go and complete a masters degree in mobile and multi-platform journalism at Birmingham City University. She wasn’t sure at that stage where that would take her. But I remember thinking that the doors it would unlock would be hugely interesting. Rather than file copy from Full Council she’ll be live blogging or using Facebook Live or whichever platform best works. That’s exactly what we all should be doing.

Almost a decade ago, then BBC journalist Robert Peston spoke to say the blog was at the heart of everything he does. I was reminded of this as I was following the latest twist with Brexit. It wasn’t the newspaper I was waiting for. I was using Twitter and Facebook to see Robert Peston’s take along with the BBC’s Laura Keunnsburg as well as @thesecretbarrister for the legal position.  Then it was the BBC Brexit podcast for a more considered take on the breaking news.

What does this tell you if you are a comms person?

It tells you that the world is changing, that the press release is not omnipotent. That newspapers are not omnipotent. That if they change they have a chance. That there’s a chance for you to be in newspaper-free desert. That the newspaper that hasn’t radically changed probably won’t be around for longer.

But beyond that, it confirms that newspapers are no longer the only show in town. But by putting a hand up to recognise that that’s no bad thing and by doing so newspapers can re-invent themselves.

Of course, the real proof of the pudding with newspapers will be if they survive financially. They can do this by providing a product that people want. For all the applause they get for the new approach if their site opens with three pop-ups, a quiz and a auto-playing video with sound that’s something they’ll struggle with.

There’s a confusion over the differing names of the website and the print edition. But as the print audience dies out you can see this being quietly dropped.

Finally, the one constant is people. They haven’t fundamentally changed. They still want to know what’s happening in their area. It’s just that the way they can find out has changed.

As a comms person, if you want to talk with people, it’s useful knowing the landscape.

Picture credit: Elvin / Flickr


Original source – The Dan Slee Blog » LOCAL SOCIAL: Is it time for a Local localgovcamp?

unawards shortlist.jpg

The wait is over – the #UnAwards18 shortlist has been published

by Darren Caveney

It’s not an exaggeration to say that it’s been a massive task for the UnAwards judges this year.

420 entries is a pretty astonishing return.

Huge thanks for the time and effort which all entrants took this year.

If you have made it onto the shortlist you should be really proud, it’s a major achievement.

And if you didn’t make it onto the shortlist you’ll of course be sad. We’ve all been there. But that should not detract from you being proud of your work.

Many on the shortlist this year didn’t make it in 2017. So please don’t give up – try again next year.

You can view the full UnAwards18 shortlist HERE.

Being at the big day…

Each year the publication of the shortlist sparks a run on the remaining tickets.

I am going to limit ticket sales to two per organisation so that I can get as many shortlisted people to the big day as possible.

Ticket availability is limited and is first come, first served.

You can buy up to two tickets HERE.

Saying thanks

Finally a big, big thank you to the team of external judges – all 20 of them:

Dave Worsell, Matt Johnson, Emma Rodgers, Ross Wigham, Phil Morcom, Bridget Aherne, Carolyne Mitchell, David Grindley, Caroline Roodhouse, Alan Oram, Ian Curwen, Fran Collingham, Stuart Banbery, Rachael Richardson-Bullock, Matt Nicholls, Victoria Ford, John-Paul Danon, Phil Jewitt, Holly Bremner and Ben Capper.

It’s been a huge amount of work for you all and I thank you so much for your time and efforts. I owe you all a beer.

I look forward to seeing many of you on 7 December.

Darren Caveney is organiser of the UnAwards, creator of comms2point0 and owner of creative communicators ltd

Original source – comms2point0 free online resource for creative comms people – comms2point0

We’re looking forward to attending SMR, a tech-specific recruitment held at The Old Truman Brewery on 24-25 November.

The event is spread over the course of the weekend; Saturday being dedicated to product, design and marketing, while Sunday is aimed at data science and developers. As we’re hiring for multiple roles, we’ll be there all weekend.

On Saturday you’ll have the opportunity to talk all things user research with Hilary and Andrew, along with Jane, our marketing and communities manager.
Andrew Wallace User Researcher

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanessa, our People & Business Operations Manager, will be more than happy to chat about business operations and human resources. Dave, our managing director, will be the go-to person to discuss sales and tell you more about the company.

David Mann

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sunday you’ll see the friendly faces of our Ops experts, bob and Chris, who will be holding down the fort alongside designer Agz and delivery lead Isobel.

Agz Deberny - Designer Developer Isobel Croot Delivery Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leanne and Amy will also be joining us on Sunday to meet all you talented tech folk and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about finance or user research.

Amy Phillips Trainee User Researcher

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until then, we’re stocking up on swag, keeping you updated on Twitter, and we look forward to meeting everyone next weekend. Take a look at our Playbook to get a taste of our culture and have a look at our current openings here

The post Silicon Milkroundabout 2018 appeared first on dxw digital.

Original source – dxw digital

I’m Hazel Holmes and I’m a Manager at the DWP Manchester Employer Suite. I’ll be at Hack the North 2.0 on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 November, helping to set the scene and answer questions from the attendees.

Hazel Holmes

Hazel Holmes

My main role is to work with employers that are looking to recruit our unemployed customers into work, ensuring their recruitment practices are inclusive.

The challenge

The challenge for this year’s hack is to come up with digital solutions that help vulnerable people in the Manchester area access key support services appropriate to their needs. With thousands of people passing through the doors of our Manchester jobcentres, this is something of great importance to us.

#HackTheNorth

#HackTheNorth

Each customer’s journey is different – they all have different needs and situations they are in. So we want to be able to better signpost them to other support services that will help their own situation and make sure that people don’t ‘slip through the net’. For example a customer who is claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) due to mental illness might benefit from being referred to local drop-in or support group. And similarly someone claiming Carer’s Allowance might be unaware of the various charities in the area that offer support to people in their situation.

The opportunities if we get this right are vast. Offering a tailored customer journey to the individual will ensure that they’re fully aware of and can easily access the support services that are going to make life easier for them. This in turn will benefit the city societally as well as economically.

A tough act to follow

I was at Hack the North last year and I was so impressed with the ideas that were generated in such a short space of time. The challenge last year was to come up with solutions to unemployment in the city. I was particularly impressed by one team’s app that blended job applications with personality trait questions to help employers identify the personality of the applicant. It was a really innovative way of matching up employers and employees in a way that looked wider than just the skills needed to do the job.

Although the app didn’t win, it really stuck in my mind as a fantastic way of using digital technology to address a real life problem.

There’s still time to get your ticket!

I’m really excited to see what ideas are generated on Friday. If you haven’t signed up for your free place yet, you can register for your free ticket on our Eventbrite page.

And if you can’t make it, you’ll be able to catch all the action on Twitter as it happens. Follow us @DWPDigital and use the hashtag #HackTheNorth.

Original source – DWP Digital

On Wednesday 21st November we will be launching our latest research report ‘Parliaments and the People: How digital technologies are shaping democratic information flow in Sub-Saharan Africa’.

This report presents the findings from an extensive and in-depth research study into digital democracy across Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda. This research explores the use of digital channels and platforms in communicating political information in the region, and considers the implications for future development in digital and institution-building.

The report analyses the breadth of digital political engagement in the countries studied, and identifies key structural and cultural considerations that influence whether digital solutions to improving democratic engagement, transparency and accountability in governing institutions will be successful.

The findings of this report are more relevant than ever to those interested and involved in international development and institution-building, through which policy implementations digital solutions are being increasingly embedded.

The full report will be published here on our news feed, via Amazon Kindle, and on our social media feed at 4pm on the 21st November to coincide with a launch event for the report at the House of Lords. That event is now fully subscribed, but please follow along on Twitter #ParliamentsandPeople and @mysociety to share the report and join the conversation.

 

Original source – mySociety

‘Internet of Public Service jobs’ is a weekly list of vacancies related to product management, user experience, data and design in…you guessed it…the ‘internet of public service’ curated by @jukesie every Sunday.

Sign up for the weekly email at tinyletter.com/jukesie

Reached 700 subscribers for the newsletter!

[01] Product and Delivery Management — Community Development Manager
Government Digital Service
London
£31,339 — £38,580
Closing date: 02/12/2018

[02] Service Designer
Futuregov
Sheffield
Salary not stated
Closing date: 30/11/2018

[03] Delivery Manager
Futurelearn
London
£50,000
Closing date: 07/12/2018

[04] Delivery Manager
Ministry of Justice
Birmingham or Nottingham
£50,000
Closing date: 28/11/2018(?)

[05] User Researcher
Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
London
£38,112
Closing date: 02/12/2018

[06] Data Literacy Team Lead (six month contract)
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Home based (or the Hague)
Salary not stated
Closing date: 26/11/2018

[07] Senior Innovation Consultant
Macmillan Cancer
London
£53,500 — £59,500
Closing date: 26/11/2018

[08] Head of Digital Education
University of the West of England
Bristol
£59,828
Closing date: 04/12/2018

[09] Chief Data Officer
Department for International Trade
London
£68,000 — £85,000
Closing date: 05/12/2018

[10] Delivery Lead
dxw
London
£40,000 — £50,000
Closing date: open until filled

International bonus jobs!

[11] Fellowship Program Lead
Code for Canada
Toronto (maybe elsewhere in Canada)
$60,000 CAN
Closing date: open until filled

[12] Product Manager, Editing
Wikimedia Foundation
Remote


Internet of Public Service Jobs: 18/11/2018 was originally published in Product for the People on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original source – Product for the People

Last month, dxw digital had the pleasure of sponsoring the first #CauseAScene conference. It is a part of our Diversity & Inclusion initiative to create awareness of job opportunities for marginalized people and to gain a better insight into obstacles they have faced and what they’ve done to try and make a difference.

Kim Crayton, the main organiser of the#CauseAScene conference, gave a presentation which covered the definitions of Racism, which are :

  • Race prejudice + social and institutional power
  • A system of advantages based on race
  • A system of oppression based on race
  • A white supremacy system

Her presentation went onto quoting from dismantlingracism.org, ‘Racism is different from racial prejudice, hatred, or discrimination. Racism involves one group having the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of the society and by shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those policies and practices.’

She highlighted the importance of discussing the economics of white supremacy because, ‘To do better, those who benefit from the economics of white supremacy must be willing to prioritise the needs and safety of the most vulnerable in our communities in order that we all benefit from the collective brilliance of organizations that are able to innovate, differentiate, and gain and maintain competitive advantage.’

Franzi, an engineering manager and co-founder of Queer Code London, gave an interesting talk about treating your recruitment process as a user experience by using personas and going through the entire application stage by stage. They mentioned having relevant information in advance, quick process and also receiving constructive feedback are key ingredients for a good application process. Considering implementing your own SLA for communication management is something we could also explore.

Sapphire Manson is an event organiser for AfroTech and she spoke about the international barriers at tech events and gave suggestions in order to make an event inclusive and not exclusive. These are:

  • Accessibility
  • Openness
  • Offering close caption eg. makes it easier to follow what is being said
  • Quiet space eg. a room to recharge or reflect
  • Affordability eg. offering discounted, free tickets, or allowing the buyer to donate a ticket

At dxw digital, we already do many of the things that have been suggested, such as making our events free to attend, a lift to the first-floor meeting room, and we have a wellbeing room as a quiet space.

Arora Ashani, the lead organiser of Non-Binary in Tech, spoke about how isolated society can be when you do not fit in what is regarded as the ‘social norm’. Therefore, she created the first meetup called NBit for those who identify themselves as non-binary people. She echoed Sapphire Manson by making her event free entry and creating a safe space for non-binary people to come together.

In Coraline Ada Ehmke’s presentation ‘The Warrior’, she gave a sample of the written abuse she receives on a daily basis from strangers online because she is identified as a trans woman. Despite all the good work she has done throughout her career,  for instance, creating the Contributor Covenant which is a code of conduct for Open Source Projects. She wanted to be a speaker at#CauseAScene conference because she felt it was the only safe space to raise awareness of online abuse.

After attending this event, I’ve learned the importance of taking into consideration the support structure we have for members of staff who may fall victim to online abuse. Social media can often be used to promote the good work we do, but we need to make it our duty to call out those who evoke hostility towards our friends and colleagues, especially those who are marginalised.

The post #CauseAScene Conference 2018 appeared first on dxw digital.

Original source – dxw digital