How can we dismantle white supremacy in tech?

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Duration: 7:50AM - 9:00AM

Status: Completed

The #BlackLivesMatter movement has clearly articulated to many organisations that they need to change. It is no longer enough to present as ‘not-racist’, instead organisations need to take steps to become anti-racist.

What’s more, we know that technology is racially discriminative. From autonomous cars not recognising darker skin, to Uber charging more to travel to Black neighbourhoods and search engines built on racist tropes, most technologies centre whiteness. They amplify and reinforce the systemic inequalities faced by black and brown people today.

Although this imperative is high on the agenda, many organisations are not fully equipped to design the strategies and tactics needed to dismantle white supremacy. This ThinkIn is an opportunity to explore how we can move beyond lip service and do just that: plan for and set goals that will lead to short-term, medium-term and long-term change.

Please note – this ThinkIn will not focus on whether we should be dismantling white supremacy, instead we will ask our invited speakers and attendees for their ideas and experiences on how to do it.

ThinkIn guest editor: Yassmin Abdel-Magied, writer, engineer and award-winning social justice advocate.

This ThinkIn is presented in partnership with Hattusia.

Invited experts

Dion McKenzie is founder and executive chair of Colorintech.org, a nonprofit he set up in 2015 to make the UK’s tech industry more inclusive and transparent. Having spent most of his career in Silicon Valley, Dion is an active investor and has advised many SaaS startups looking to expand internationally. Dion is also the Chief Revenue Officer for Hatch, a challenger bank that’s built for the self employed.

Nahema Marchal is a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute and a researcher at the Computational Propaganda Project, where her work focuses on the relationship between online political communication and affective partisan polarisation. Prior to joining the OII, Nahema worked as content editor at Dow Jones Media Group and as program officer for a number of not-for-profit organisations including the World Policy Institute and the Center for Public Scholarship.

Kenza Ait Si Abbou is Senior Manager for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence at Deutsche Telekom IT. She was born in Morocco, studied Telecommunications Engineering in Spain. A Master in Project Management followed in Germany, then Chinese as a foreign language in China. She has a track record managing big projects, in Hardware and Software development, ICT outsourcing tenders, agile transformations, or rolling out new network architectures for Deutsche Telekom. In December 2018 Kenza was awarded with the Digital Female Leader Award in the category IT/Tech, and in April 2019 with the Engineer Power Women Award from Deutsche Messe, for her engagement and commitment for more Diversity in the IT and AI world. In August 2020 Kenza published her first Book Keine Panik, ist nur Technik (in German for now), where she explains artificial intelligence to the public and pleads for more diversity in AI development.

Doors open at 7.50am for a welcome and briefing. Come early to get settled, meet the team and chat to other members. ThinkIn starts at 8.00am.

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