Come to the first DEDN meeting

22Aug - by Angelika - 0 - In Digital Economy Diversity Network

As you might remember, a few weeks (or was it months, now?) ago Janis and I went to London to attend the Digital Economy Network (DEN) Summer School where we introduced the Digital Economy Diversity Network to those attending. It was a strange day in London, but we did what we went to do.

Now a little bit of time has passed, and it’s exactly one month before the first meeting! So, we’re working on putting together a call to be sent out to the DEN mailing list. To accompany that call, I thought it would be nice to have a space with a little bit more information on what we will be doing during the day. So here goes.

The Digital Economy Diversity Network aims:

  1. to promote diversity, equality, and equity within the CDTs and their host universities
  2. to establish an open culture of sharing experiences and critical perspectives on issues of diversity and equality
  3. to encourage the exchange of good practice in regards to diversity and equality between CDT cohorts
  4. to build links between all DEN CDTs and strengthen the overall network of CDT students
  5. to encourage cross-CDT exchange across the DEN; and
  6. to foster cultural change across the DEN network and within the specific contexts of respective CDTs


We hope to do this by establishing a working group that tackles these issues at quarterly meetings. The first meeting will be on the 22nd of September at the brand new Urban Sciences Building (USB – it’s cute because we’re in the school of computing science!) where the CDT in Digital Civics now lives. Throughout the day we plan to introduce everyone to Open Lab, the DEDN, and what we have started to do in the Digital Civics CDT (or well rather, at Open Lab) to address issues of diversity and inclusivity (ie. talk about In the afternoon we will have discussions and activities to tackle an important issue that we believe many CDTs will be trying to tackle: workplace culture.

We’re keeping the theme really broad since we don’t know details about other CDTs (though we have heard some things from our friends as well as colleagues during the Summer School back in July). Keeping the theme as ‘workplace culture’ rather than, for example, ‘toxic workplace culture’ also allows us to incorporate positive examples. It doesn’t shoehorn us into negative conversations, which is good because nobody wants to talk about terrible things for an entire afternoon.

We know we live pretty far up North here in Newcastle and appreciate that people will be travelling quite far to get to the meeting, so we are planning the day to allow for a few latecomers. It would be great however, if people could arrive on time as we’ll be getting to know each other in the morning. So, to illustrate a little more what we are hoping to do, here’s a draft outline of what the day might look like:

10:00 A brief welcome by Janis and Angelika and a little activity to get to know one another
10:30 An introduction about DEDN and what we have done at Open Lab to try to make it a more friendly space ( followed by a discussion on what other initiatives exist in other CDTs
11:00 break with tea and coffee
11:30 A tour of Open Lab by Prof. Patrick Olivier
12:00 lab talk (a seminar series hosted at Open Lab – speaker TBD)
12:30 lunch break with delicious food and cake
13:30 Discussion of topic and working on potential strategies to improve workplace culture
15:30 break with tea and coffee
16:00 deciding on task to take back to CDT, closing
17:00 social activity (or some people may be getting trains back home)

We hope that this day sounds interesting to others – I know that I’m already curious to hear what is happening in other CDTs!

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