Data Justice 2020: Call for Papers

Civic Participation in the Datafied Society

Date: May 28-29, 2020
Location: Cardiff University in Cardiff, UK
Host: Data Justice Lab

As the generation, collection and analysis of data continues to transform key aspects of our society across economics, politics and culture, the question of participation has rarely been so pertinent. Democratic processes and traditional avenues for participation are facing challenges as state-citizen relations are increasingly shaped through data analytics and automation at the same time as alternative visions for participatory democracy and decision-making have proliferated. As citizens, we are said to be both coerced and active participants in this shift, both liberated and exploited in the use of digital tools, both more visible and more obscured in data-driven systems. How, then, should we understand civic participation in the datafied society? In what ways are we positioned as citizens in the advancement of datafication? How are decisions made, governance carried out, and systems created? What possibilities exist to intervene in, influence, create and resist power? Who gets to participate and on what terms? How might our institutions and government practices need to change? What are strategies for democratising the emergent datafied society? And what are avenues for enhancing citizen and community participation?

This two-day event explores the relationship between datafication and participation. Hosted by the Data Justice Lab at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture (JOMEC), it will bring together international scholars, practitioners, activists, and community groups to discuss the possibilities and challenges of civic participation in a datafied society. Speakers include:

Carly Kind (Ada Lovelace Institute)
Mark Andrejevic (Monash University, Australia)
Nanjira Sambuli (World Wide Web Foundation)
Natalie Fenton (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)
Rashida Richardson (AI Now)
Tawana Petty (Detroit Community Technology Project)

The conference will include both scholarly contributions and workshops with civil society, practitioners and impacted communities in order to facilitate and advance knowledge exchange. We therefore welcome alternative formats and ideas. Themes for submissions include (but are not limited to):

  • Citizen juries, assemblies and audits
  • Participatory data governance and oversight
  • Data commons and co-operatives
  • Data activism and resistance
  • Participatory design and design justice
  • Digital and human labour in data
  • Participation, exploitation and coercion
  • Geopolitics of participation


How to get there:

Cardiff is a 2-hour train journey west of London and Heathrow airport. The closest airports are Cardiff and Bristol.

Conference fee:

Full fee: £75 (early bird) / £100

Reduced fee for students and civil society: £50 (early bird) / £75

Register here

Conference organizing committee: Lina Dencik, Arne Hintz, Joanna Redden and Emiliano Treré (Data Justice Lab, Cardiff University, UK)

For information about the Data Justice Lab, see:

Hashtag: #DataJustice2020

Contact for further information: