Reflections on UN75

The UNESCO Chair in ICT4D was pleased to participate in celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations on UN Day on 24th October 2020, by contributing to the IdeaSphere World #Connversations Rountable Relay convened by X360.

This wide-ranging and fascinating series of roundtable discussions involving leading commentators, changemakers and social innovators across the world began in the Asia Pacfic region at 1-3 a.m. UTC and the relay then headed westwards in a series of two-hour sessions that finished in the Americas Pacific at 9-11 p.m.. Congratulations are due to John Wells and Allison Hornery, the concierges of the X360 project, not only for conceptualising this celebration of the UN at 75, but also in convening and moderating this #connversation initiative – and surviving what was a very long day!

The UNESCO Chair in ICT4D’S Chairholder, Tim Unwin, participated in the fascinating Americas East rountable, which brought together a very diverse group of thoughtleaders from the eastern USA (Gadi Ben-Yehuda, Peter Scoblic, Richard Kerby, Tim McDonald), Canada (Ashleigh Weeden, Úna Hassenstein) and Mexico (Carlos Castañeda Girón, José Maria Guajardo) as well as outliers from the UK and the Philippines, and many other participants, to discuss a diversity of issues around the role of the UN, the kind of world in which we wish to live, and the evolving character of public participation in decision making, not least as it is mediated through digital technologies. Key issues that struck a particular chord, included the role of new financial instruments and institutions, new ways of convening public dialogues, how to get the balance right between rural and urban interests, “Open” and proprietary systems and technologies, youth participation, and the UN’s role in contributing to a better (or indeed worse) world.

The roundatables (thanks to X360) also introduced the wealth of emerging way through which digital technologies can be used to encourage such dialogues – not least through the images we may choose to show as backgrounds on Zoom conversations, the rich side conversations in chats, and innovative new platforms such as IdeaSpace.

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant vacancy

We are looking for a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant to contribute to the UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequalities and Development (MIDEQ) Hub. Specifically, the PDRA will support Professors G Hari Harindranath (School of Business & Management) and Tim Unwin (Department of Geography) on the development of research within the work package on digital technologies, inequalities and migration across the six migration ‘corridors’ in which the MIDEQ Hub is working but particularly focusing on their work in the following migration ‘corridors’: Nepal-Malaysia, Ghana-China, Ethiopia-South Africa, and Haiti-Brazil. The PDRA will be based in the School of Business and Management at Royal Holloway, University of London but will work across the School and the Department of Geography and within the UNESCO Chair for ICT4D. Occasional overseas travel will be an essential component of this role.  The post’s central focus will be on working with migrants and tech developers in partner countries to facilitate the development of digital technologies that will reduce inequalities identified by migrants. The successful candidate will have the ability to develop excellent working relationships with diverse and international team members and have technical expertise relating to the design and implementation of digital technology interventions.   

In return we offer a highly competitive rewards and benefits package including:

  • Generous annual leave entitlement 
  • Training and Development opportunities
  • Pension Scheme with generous employer contribution 
  • Various schemes including Cycle to Work, Season Ticket Loans and help with the cost of Eyesight testing. 
  • Free parking 

The post is based in Egham, Surrey where the College is situated in a beautiful, leafy campus near to Windsor Great Park and within commuting distance from London. However, the post-holder will be required to travel nationally and internationally to fulfil the responsibilities of this role. 

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Prof G Hari Harindranath at G.Harindranath@rhul.ac.uk or Prof Tim Unwin at Tim.Unwin@rhul.ac.uk.

To view further details of this post and to apply please visit https://jobs.royalholloway.ac.uk. Please note the Job Description and Person Specification at the at the end of the advertisement. For queries on the application process the Human Resources Department can be contacted by email at: recruitment@rhul.ac.uk 

In addition to completion of the online application form applicants are also required to upload two references. Please ensure these documents are uploaded in order for your application to be considered.

Please quote the reference: 1020-215

Closing Date:   Midnight, Friday 6 November 2020 

Interview Date: Interviews will be held in the week commencing 16 November 2020