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Image of diverse people sat around a round table, connected by ideas, different media types and data connections

Join us at Cumberland Lodge on 14 and 15 November 2019 for a cross-sector, roundtable conference on 'Digital Inclusion: Bridging Divides'. 

Digital skills are essential for our personal and community lives, self-development, education and work.

Without digital competence, people struggle to find or apply for jobs, stay informed about current affairs and assess information, manage their finances effectively and build or maintain relationships. Looking ahead, digital expertise will become ever more vital to human wellbeing. 

The uneven distribution of digital literacy exacerbates social division and exclusion. Improving digital skills across society, with a special focus on disadvantaged groups, can enhance social mobility and community cohesion by giving individuals access to opportunities for participation in social and political life, as well as for self-development.

Key aims

This conference explores innovative and effective ways of promoting equal access to high-quality digital education and participation, irrespective of age, gender, income, employment or physical or mental ability.

We will also be investigating how intelligent technology use can foster a greater sense of community and inclusion in a digital world and increase social and political opportunities.

The aim is to produce a series of practical, policy-focused recommendations for positive action and change.

In 2020, we will be presenting the key themes of discussion and cross-sector recommendations from the conference in a Cumberland Lodge Report on 'Digital Inclusion: Bridging Divides', to be launched in central London and published online and in print.


This is the first conference in our 2019-20 series, ‘Inclusion & Opportunity’. 

Sessions will explore the following issues, with opportunities for group discussion and breakout sessions throughout, and time and space for reflection and networking.

  • Identifying the Divide
  • Socio-economic Limits: Education and Employment
  • E-government: Serving Citizens Online
  • Intergenerational Challenges
  • Inhabiting Digital Territories Differently
  • Digital Social Innovation: Reports from a Possible Future


Our keynote address will be delivered by Lizzie Hodgson and Brandon Relph, hosts of The Z-X Spectrum podcast, who take an intergenerational view on the impact of technology on work, education and life.

We are pleased to announce that other confirmed speakers include: 

  • Dr Liam Berriman - Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies at the University of Sussex
  • Areeq Chowdury - Founder at Webroots Democracy 
  • Robin Christopherson MBE - Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet 
  • Anna Grant - Senior Policy and Development Officer at Carnegie UK
  • Maneesh Juneja - Digital Health Futurist
  • Dr Elaine Kasket - Psychologist and author
  • Helen Milner OBE - Chief Executive of The Good Things Foundation
  • Sarah Parkes - Project Manager of One Digital at Age UK
  • Richard Skellett - Founder at Digital Anthropology
  • Gori Yahaya - Chief Executive Officer at Upskill Digital 

Conference costs

Attendance at this conference is supported by our charitable funds, to ensure a diverse spectrum of participation, including people of all ages, backgrounds and perspectives. This includes overnight accommodation at Cumberland Lodge on 14 November and all meals during your stay.

We invite all registrations of interest in attending, but attendance will be by invitation only, to ensure broad and balanced representation. If you would like to be part of this conference, please follow the 'Make Enquiry' button on this webpage to let us know how and why you would like to contribute.

PhD student travel bursaries

We are pleased to be able to offer five bursaries for this conference, to support PhD students working in relevant fields with the costs of travelling to and from Cumberland Lodge.

To apply, please download the application form on this webpage and send to Emily Gow at by 12pm on Monday 14 October 2019

Dates and times

From: 14 Nov 2019 - 10:00am
To: 15 Nov 2019 - 4:00pm
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