Justice, Equity and Technology

Housed within the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Justice, Equity and Technology Project explores the intersection between policy and practice within the realm of automated discrimination.

Since January 2020, part of its endeavor is germinating a Europe-wide civil society network, the Justice, Equity, and Technology Table. As states and private actors across Europe turn to automated decision-making systems to optimize the allocation of resources, deliver social services, and manage public safety, they often overlook broader questions of social, racial, and economic justice.

Responding to the need for a broader set of visions and strategies for the governance of technology, this Table will function as a coordinating network of civil society representatives from across Europe’s social justice and human rights sector. Our core purpose is to build a fiercely independent network of Table members that will construct collective knowledge, share timely information, build solidarity and coordinate strategies around the issues of equality, justice, data-driven technologies, and their governance.

The Table aims to:

  • broaden the boundaries of public discourse around data-driven technologies beyond industry-run spaces,
  • address the consequences of automated decision-making systems for people’s basic human needs and democratic society,
  • build bridges within social justice movements by welcoming collective reflections on power structures in the field,
  • foster social change at the intersections of equality, social, economic, and racial justice, data-driven technologies, and their governance.
  • transform how civil society representatives across diverse communities of practice and areas of expertise engage with automated discrimination issues.

Justice, Equity, and Technology Table is grounded in principles of reciprocity, respect, and solidarity and views technological systems as critical determinants of effective meaningful participation in democratic society. It combines rigorous social science research and organizing strategies to understand how, why, and when social, economic, and racial justice intersects with data-driven technologies and their governance. With experience in centering justice and equity in research, organizing, and advocacy related to technology governance, the Table has a unique capacity to support field building and bridge silos that exist between and within human rights sectors in Europe.

Between 2017 and 2019, JET completed foundational research on automated discrimination. Between antidiscrimination and data: Understanding human rights discourse on automated discrimination in Europe and “Decentering technology in discourse on discrimination” found that many civil society representatives across Europe’s human rights prioritized the specific experiences of marginalized populations when examining or dealing with new, automated technologies. This approach tended to contrast the process-oriented perspective of tech-savvy groups, who shied from analysis of systematic forms of injustice. This initial work laid the foundation for the Justice, Equity, and Technology Table.

Team members

The Principal Investigator/Founder:
Seeta Pena Gangadharan

Table Co-Directors:

Sanne Stevens
Sanne Stevens is a researcher, trained facilitator and advisor with many years of experience working with civil society organisations and media organisations in field of technology, digital safety and Internet freedom. Sanne’s current research focuses on shortcomings and failure of data-driven technologies and their effect on inequalities and social justice issues. Besides conducting critical research, she facilitates workshops, meetings and practical workshops for activists, journalists and civil society worldwide about basic digital security practices, surveillance, data tracking and strategies against online harassment. As a community coordinator, she stimulates inclusive knowledge sharing and collaboration. She has worked with the Digital Defenders Partnership (Hivos),  VPRO and is member of the Advisory Council of the Open Tech Fund and Qurium. Collaborations and advisory work include the Data Justice LabAda Lovelace Institute and IFEX

Esra Özkan
Esra has been active in a variety of grassroots groups and civil society organisations in Turkey and in Belgium. She is interested in how social movements can provide a context for individual and community transformation as a pathway to experiencing freedom and justice in our lifetimes. She is passionate about and learning from the histories of communities of resistance and networks of solidarity. She is part of LABO vzw, a non-profit educational organisation that strives as a movement towards a strong civil society that work to create social change and a commitment to social justice. Previously she worked at European Network Against Racism (ENAR) as Network Development Officer and Merhaba vzw as Movement Project Coordinator.

Previous contributors:
Dr Jedrzej Niklas

 Advisory Board

Sarah Chander  
Senior Policy Advisor at European Digital Rights (EDRi)

EDRi is the biggest European network defending rights and freedoms online.

Sarah Chander leads EDRi's policy work on AI and non-discrimination with respect to digital rights. She is interested in building thoughtful, resilient movements and she looks to make links between the digital and other social justice movements. Sarah has experience in racial and social justice, previously she worked in advocacy at the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), on a wide range of topics including anti-discrimination law and policy, intersectional justice, state racism, racial profiling and police brutality. Before that she worked on youth employment policy for the UK civil service. She was actively involved in movements against immigration detention. She holds a masters in Migration, Mobility and Development from SOAS, University of London and a Law Degree from the University of Warwick.

Eric Kind 

Managing Director at AWO

AWO is a new agency of lawyers, policy experts, technology analysts and applied ethicists orking to shape, apply and enforce data rights.

Eric Kind works as a legal and public policy expert in technology, society and human rights, with particularly deep expertise on surveillance technology law and practice. He previously led public policy development efforts around complex technology policy areas such as security and intelligence, dual use export controls, artificial intelligence and algorithmic decision making, gig economy and the future of work, cyber security, competition, data protection, and platform accountability. He has also led coalitions of NGOs reforming surveillance laws and was the Deputy Director at Privacy International.

Bogdan Kulynych 

Bogdan Kulynych is a PhD researcher at EPFL Security and Privacy Engineering Lab (SPRING). He works on privacy and security as related to socio-technical systems. His interest is in studying the harmful effects of machine learning, algorithmic, and optimization systems, and, leveraging security and privacy techniques and principles, developing defences against these harmful effects. Bogdan is also a co-organizer of the Participatory Approaches to Machine Learning workshop.

Sara Lalić

Program Coordinator at Centre for Peace Studies

The Centre for Peace Studies is a civil society organization based in Zagreb, Croatia, working on human rights protection and social change through education, research, advocacy, activism and direct support. CPS works with communities, initiatives, organizations, media, institutions and individuals in Croatia and internationally.  

Sarah Lalić has been working as a researcher and policy analyst in the fields of human rights and combating discrimination, racism, and xenophobia. She is an editor of several publications in the field of combating discrimination. Sara Lalić studied sociology and comparative literature at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb.

Aida Guillén Lanzarote 
Director of the Department of Citizens’ Rights and Diversity for Barcelona City Council and Vice President of European Coalition of Cities Against Racism (ECCAR).

Aida Guillén Lanzarote is currently serving as the director of the Department of Citizens’ Rights and Diversity for the Barcelona City Council, as responsable of policies to fight against racism and discrimnation and other human rights policies. She has a Bachelor degree in Physics from the University of Valencia ans the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master's degree in International Relations and Cooperation to Development from the University of Barcelona.

She has been working in various human rights-related posts for the past fifteen years, both locally and internationally. She particularly specializes in the local dimensions of human rights such as keeping local authorities accountable to agreed-upon standards as well as educating citizens on their right to access local mechanisms protecting human rights. She has also experience in various projects against hate speech and migration policies.

Emilia Roig

Founder and Executive Director of Center for Intersectional Justice (CIJ)

CIJ engages in advocacy and policy-oriented research to make anti-discrimination and equality policy more inclusive and address structural inequalities more effectively in Europe.

Emilia Roig holds a PhD in Political Science from the Humboldt University of Berlin and Sciences Po Lyon and obtained her Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance and her Master of Business Administration from Jean Moulin University in Lyon. Her doctoral dissertation analysed the processes of intersectional discrimination in the French and German labor markets for care and household services. Prior to founding the Center for Intersectional Justice, she was Project Director at the German Federation of Migrant Women’s Organisations (DaMigra). From 2011 to 2015, she taught Intersectionality Theory, Postcolonial Studies and Critical Race Theory at the Humboldt University and the Free University of Berlin, and International and European Law at Jean Moulin University in Lyon. She is also faculty member in the Social Justice Study Abroad Program of DePaul University of Chicago since 2015. From 2007 to 2011, she worked extensively on Human Rights issues at Amnesty International in Germany, at the International Labour Organisation in Tanzania and Uganda, and at the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Cambodia.

Funding grants and awards

  • LSE Knowledge Exchange and Impact (KEI) Fund. 'Justice, Equity, and Technology Table.Total: £97,131. Period: 1/20-7/21.  (Seeta Peña Gangadharan)
  • Open Society Foundations, 'Justice, Equity, and Technology Project'. Total: £63,562. Period: 1/2017-7/2018. (Seeta Peña Gangadharan)