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Funding opportunities to explore social justice in the digital economy.


Not-Equal, a three-year, £1.2m EPSRC funded project, has created Network+. It will look for ways in which we can better design and implement technology to support social justice and fairness for everyone.

Network+ brings together academics, industry, and private, public and third sector organisations, including voluntary and community groups. It explores current issues around:

  • the ethics of technology
  • algorithm bias
  • creating fairer working conditions in the platform economy
Not-Equal: Algorithmic Social Justice, Digital Security for All, Fairer Futures for Business and Workforce

Newcastle University's Open Lab leads the project in collaboration with Royal Holloway University of London, University of Sussex and Swansea University.

Dr Clara Crivellaro of the School of Computing is the Project Director. She said:

“We live in times of exceptional digital innovation that can really enhance our problem-solving capacities. But technology can either reinforce inequality or help mitigate it. With this Network+, we want to create the conditions for technology to support social justice.

“We are very excited to bring together researchers and organisations from a range of sectors to collaborate and co-create innovative responses that can make our digital society work for everyone.”

Bringing people together to help develop practical responses that can make our digital society work for everyone. Join the Network. Make a difference.

Partners in Network+

Network+ already has more than 30 partners, including:

  • Google
  • BBC
  • UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing

Our other partners include the Trade Unions Congress and organisations such as Citizens Advice and Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East (VONNE).

We aim to build sustainable networks across academic communities, such as social scientists collaborating with tech designers. Partners from industry and civil society will build on areas of interest and foster new collaborations. These collaborations will develop practical ideas to address issues of social justice and fairness affected by technological developments related to big data, artificial intelligence, and the design of services based on algorithms.

Peter Hopkins, Dean of Social Justice at Newcastle University, is a supporter of the project and spoke at the Not-Equal event held in Newcastle on 29 November.

He explained: “We are proud to support the work of Network+. The world is changing rapidly. Understanding the role of social justice in relation to technology is vital if we are going to make changes to create a fairer society. Not-Equal’s challenges echo many of the issues we face around fairness and inclusion, and the role of power and responsibility organisations have in relation people’s lives.”

Funding for projects

An open commissioning process and activities support funding allocations. Network+ met with partners and communities to help define the network agenda. We held two launch events:

Network+ funds projects which address the critical challenges so far identified. The challenges mirror public conversations about:

  • the gig economy
  • issues around algorithms bias
  • digital security

Contact us

For more information or to collaborate with us, visit our website or send us an email.