Find out what the Digital Divide SG is about, what has happened to date, and how everyone can do something to address the digital divide.
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Closing the digital divide is one of four top strategic priorities for BCS. The Digital Divide Specialist Group was formally launch in Feb 2022. One year on, what is its purpose, vision and mission? What has it done to date? What are the plans for 2023? How can anyone get involved?
Come and join us to hear from the committee members about the one thing that they champion. Please stay to attend our AGM to find out about the committee and plans for this year, and volunteer if you want to join the committee.
About the speakers
Freddie Quek is Chief Technology Officer at Times Higher Education. In 2021, he started the #joiningthedots initiative to address #digitalinclusion becoming a Community Board member of the Digital Poverty Alliance and Chair of the BCS Digital Divide Specialist Group.
He serves on the boards at University of Bristol, BCS Influence Board and eLife, and a member of the Technology Advisory Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He co-founded TechLinkUkraine to help displaced Ukrainian tech professionals which has now joined forces with BlueHope.ai in supporting all displaced refugees regardless of conflict or country.
Freddie is a Fellow of BCS and judge for the UK IT Industry Awards.
Fiona Dawson is Director at Mayden. She is passionate about what technology can do to support healthcare and advocates for the health informatics profession, both as a BCS Fellow and FEDIP Leading Practitioner. She holds a degree in Applied Computing from the University of Bath and is in her final year of a Masters in Healthcare Data at Cambridge University.
Fiona has lived in Bath all her adult life after falling in love with the city as a student. She is passionate about addressing the digital divide and is involved with bringing together groups of like-minded individuals as Director of the Bath Bridge CIC. Recent projects have supported improved digital access for refugees and digital skills for young people in the city. She is a Digital Poverty Alliance ambassador and also supports the One Healthtech Bristol Hub, promoting diversity and inclusion in the vibrant healthtech community in the local area.
Dave has worked in Bristol and Bath as a software engineer for around 25 years, and is currently at Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Bristol, where he works closely with Level 4 and Level 6 apprentices. He works voluntarily as a trustee of the League of Friends of the Royal United Hospitals (Bath), which manages volunteers providing additional services to patients and staff.
He recently finished a three-year term on BCS Council, and a one-year term on Trustee Board.
He is the Inclusion Officer of the Pride Specialist Group, and Chair of the Bristol & Bath branch, and is currently working on expanding the scope of the branch beyond Bristol into Bath and surrounding areas.
Tristi has worked 25 years in and with technologists on transformation and change across US NGO, UK public sector organisations and global private sector firms. Humbled to be named in Computer Weekly’s “Top 50 Most Influential Women in UK Tech” and the UKTech long list, she is passionate about equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging and focused on opportunities to give and share platform to the voices unheard and/or unseen. Tristi's work portfolio connects with her purpose through her committee roles in BCS Women, BCS Digital Divide and other like-minded groups and networks – TechUP, All4Health&Care, AnitaB, ForHumanity, and groups working on AI Ethics, seeking to develop solutions that reduce inequalities while supporting equitable and sustainable change.
Mark is an IT Project and Change Management consultant after having served 22 years in the British Army. He is a Student Member of the BCS and is currently studying for a bachelor’s degree in software engineering with the Open University.
Because of both his life experiences in the Army and his passion for IT he ardently believes in the BCS’s purpose of ‘making IT good for society’.
He has seen first-hand the ways in which the Digital Divide has caused real and lasting harm to the vulnerable elements of society, but also how committed and passionate people can organise to address these crucial issues and affect real transformative change ensuring no one is left digitally behind.
Charlie founded a business system consultancy having worked in corporate IT for over 30 years, operating globally to improve business processes, systems and supply chains within complex and demanding manufacturing organisations. Originally from Northern Ireland, Charlie settled in Stoke-on-Trent over 25 years ago, was warmly welcomed and has been proud to call it home ever since.
He is the current Chair of the BCS North Staffordshire Branch, bringing educators and businesses together to help shrink the digital divide within Staffordshire and beyond. Charlie was elected to BCS Council in 2022. Charlie also chairs the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Digital Forum and is a board member of Silicon Stoke, supporting the digital city ambitions for Stoke-on-Trent.
Margaret Ross, Emeritus Professor of Software Quality at Solent University, started from mathematics degrees, leading to computing, and still a PhD External Examiner. She has been on BCS Council and Trustee Board, and is a BCS Unconscious Bias trainer, and actively involved with Hampshire Branch, and 6 BCS SGs, which helps her to promote the Digital Divide SG and to hold joint activities with other BCS MGs including on dementia, autism and the elderly.
Margaret was awarded MBE, BCS Hon FBCS, BCS John Ivison Medal, and added to Computer Weekly’s Hall of Fame.
Sean is an award winning and experienced Senior IT Leader, Advisor, Mentor and Trustee for both corporate and charitable organisations. He has been professionally recognised by becoming a Chartered IT Professional of the British Computer Society and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.
Sean has worked within both the private and public sectors, where he has performed as a visionary leader building high performing teams and built business-enhancing systems and services. Sean has moved into a Director of Consulting role related to Cloud and Digital Transformation, to provide other companies with the benefit of his knowledge and experience.
From a personal perspective, Sean has a real passion for using the knowledge and experience he has gained to help address some of the issues facing society today, such as digital poverty, homelessness and the responsible use of technology to enhance sustainability initiatives. He is also keen to inspire others to think of how they could do more.
James Davenport, FIMA FBCS CMath CITP is, uniquely, a professor in both the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath. He has been a Vice-President (Academy) of the BCS and the IMA representative on the LMS’ Computer Science Committee. He is currently Treasurer of the Committee of Professors and Heads of Computing, and is working to inform teaching about the Digital Divide and its implications. He has been on the Advisory Committee for Mathematical Education, and is a National Teaching Fellow. He got his mother a modem in her nursing home in 2000.
Matthew Bellringer is a systems developer, facilitator, speaker and author exploring and sharing how everyone can benefit from neurodiversity. With a background in technology, psychology, research, innovation, and communication they work with both neurodivergent people and those who want to support them better. Matthew runs a private practice, Meaningbit, is chair of BCS member group NeurodiverseIT, and co-organises the Curious Being community.
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