14th July 2022

Accelerating Digital Rights in Dublin: the first steps

Earlier in May, Dublin was selected as one of four cities to pilot the implementation of the Digital Rights Governance Framework – a UN-Habitat initiative developed as part of the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights. As urban areas increasingly adopt new forms of technology and data-driven decision-making, the Framework will help cities strategically manage the opportunities and risks driven by technology and to ensure digital rights with transparency, community participation and accountability at the forefront of practices.

As part of this project, Academy of the Near Future will collaborate with digital rights experts at the UN-Habitat to develop a foundational educational module on digital rights, ethics and privacy targeted at young people and local authority workers in the city. To kickstart this collaboration, we have worked with the UN Habitat to create a video exploring ethics, privacy, and digital rights in the city.

This week marked the first steps in the project in Dublin with a two-part workshop facilitated by representatives from the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights. With a diverse range of participants from local authority, higher education, community groups, and academia, the workshops identified the key challenges for Dublin while creating concrete solutions and deliverables based on problem identification.

The Workshops

Following a welcome and introduction from Pontus Westerberg (Programme Manager Officer at the UN Habitat), Jamie Cudden (DCC’s Smart City Programme Manager) kicked off the first workshop with an overview of Dublin’s primary challenges in developing the necessary tools for governing digital rights, particularly with regards to the digitalisation of municipal services. The remainder of the workshop was led by Milou Jansen (Coordinator at Cities Coalition for Digital Rights) and Florencia Serale (UN Habitat). Through hands-on activities, group discussions, and collaborative brainstorming, participants mapped existing initiatives advocating for citizens’ digital rights in Dublin while drawing up a list of key priorities as the city adopts the framework. Building on the success of the first workshop, participants regrouped in a follow-up workshop to define a concrete timeline and deliverables for the upcoming pilot.

Keep an eye on the website for updates as we develop the pilot!