Women, data and the future

This project was completed in October 2017.

Women and girls can make informed choices about how they use and value their personal data. But they need greater understanding of data sharing and ownership first.

As part of the Productive Margins programme, a joint project with Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) in Bristol and 3Gs Community Development Trust (3Gs) in Merthyr Tydfil took place during 2017.

Over the course of six workshops in each location between February and March 2017, female participants explored the concept of data – their own, and relating to their local community. Topics included:

  • health data and analysis (using the fitness technology band Jawbone)
  • personal data
  • ‘stalking yourself’
  • targeted advertising
  • Instagram terms and conditions data ethics

Participants worked with artists to create data maps and visualizations, enabling them to better understand their personal data and look at it differently. They also learned about the value of their data and how this could be translated into cash, such as through Citizenme and deleting targeted adverts.

The programme of workshops, facilitated by KWMC and supported by three artists, involved a range of creative activities.

Final Women and Data Futures Report – February 2018 (pdf 4.641kb)

An Exhibition at KWMC, along with a selection of pieces on display at We The Curious science centre, enabled the women to share what they had learned throughout the project. To close the exhibition, KWMC and Productive Margins co-hosted a symposium during BBC Digital Bristol Week in October 2017 . The Future of Data: Taking Back Control? prompted a lively debate and included provocations from three guest speakers who explored the future of data ethics, privacy and value and invited visitors to imagine a different ‘data future’. The speakers were:

  • Mara Balestrini (Partner & Research Director, Ideas for Change)
  • Ed Boal (Deputy Head of Digital Media & Technology, Gregg Latchams)
  • Andrew Charlesworth (Reader in IT and Law, University of Bristol)

The event was chaired by Katherine Rooney.

Finally, in May 2017, both groups came together to reflect, share and discuss the workshops at a symposium with guest speakers. .

Read more about the project at KWMC.

Project outputs

Productive Margins, University of Bristol
8-10 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1HH

Tel: +44 (0)117 3940042

Email: productive-margins@bristol.ac.uk