Inequality and democracy: what will the impact of digital be?

The Democratic Society has been asked to carry out a piece of research into inequality and democracy, and the impact of digital technologies upon these in the EU and beyond. As an output of this piece of work, we will be producing a report, providing a set of recommendations to the EU about further action and thinking.

There are four broad themes we are exploring:

  1. Jobs, inequality and social protection – covering topics such robotization and automation of jobs, the impacts of an increased focus on the gig economy and employment laws and rules around this, and skills and lifelong learning;
  2. Digital rights and responsibilities – including media, social media, and communications, privacy, big data, increased access to data and information.
  3. Digital transformation of place – covering smart cities, transport, environmental management, health and wearables;
  4. Democracy and participation – thinking about new ways to engage, how political parties, elected officials, and government officials can be better placed to listen to and engage with citizens, new methods of activism, tensions between use of data and dialogue in service and policy design.

We are partnering with D21 to carry out this research, and it is being funded by DG Connect – the part of the European Commission that deals with digital technology and the creation of a digital ‘single market’ across the EU.

As part of the research, we’re going to be speaking to experts at workshops run by DG Connect. Invitations and promotion for these workshops are being handled by DG Connect.

However, we are also keen to speak to experts outside these events – mainly through phone (or Skype) interviews. This is where you come in.

If you know someone we should be speaking to about this, then we’d love you to let us know who (and maybe even put us in touch). Or if you have insight into this area yourself then we’d also love to hear from you. In either case just drop either myself, or my colleague Mat a quick email on