I work at the intersection of research and policy on digital (in)equality, data justice, and community technology. I’m interested in building responsible and ethical relationships between technology and society.
I’ve been involved in research, activism, and advocacy around issues of technology and inequality for more than ten years, with experience working with and writing about communities straddling the digital divide from North America to the Middle East to Europe. I’m currently the Senior Digital Strategy Officer at Manchester City Council, where I’m part of the team implementing the city’s ambitious agenda for a responsible, ethical, community-centred and zero-carbon digital future. (Read more about the strategy here.)
Before joining Manchester City Council, I was a public engagement researcher at the Ada Lovelace Institute, where my role involved bringing public perspectives and participation into our research on data and AI. I also researched and wrote the 2022 UK Digital Poverty Evidence Review for the Digital Poverty Alliance.
I have a professional research background as an anthropologist, and in my research and policy work, I prioritise collaborating directly with people who have lived experience of digital inequalities, so we can imagine and design a more just and equitable digital future together. My overarching research interest is in working with people who are closing the digital divide from the bottom up, in their communities – with a particular focus on community-owned and -operated internet networks.
I completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, where I studied the online and offline impacts of emerging digital politics in Cairo after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Before joining the Ada Lovelace Institute, I held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, where I researched community internet networks. I have a B.A. from The College of William and Mary in Government and Linguistics and an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford.
Outside of my policy and research work, I also do a bit of audio production, photo/videography, and illustration (more about that over at Cherry Soup).
*My website is designed to be a low carbon / low energy demand site.*