I was invited to give closing remarks at The Messy Edge which was part of the Brighton Digital Festival in October. The Messy Edge highlights the perspectives and voices of those who are marginalised in the digital revolution.
Bill Thompson, who leads R&D at the BBC, framed the day by highlighting the messy edges, not only between our online and offline lives, but the very boundaries of biology and technology, with the systems and structures that allow use to push technology further mirror those of our inner biology. The ubiquity of technology and the pervasive challenges of data privacy, surveillance, and the rise of artificial intelligence and smart machines, means we all have to voice in all aspects of the digital technology.
Thompson was followed by Catherine Allen, CEO of Limina Immersive, who offered some startling facts about the lack of gender diversity in the AR/VR/MR sector – only 14% of immersive tech companies are women.
Transgender writer Kuchenga shared some of her writing with us. I was struck by her statement that it was only when her work was recognised through social media channels did she feel her work was really important. She argued that it was only through social media channels and communities was she able to reach the people who could appreciate her work and does not necessary see the established publishing industry as being able to reach those audiences.