Virtual workshop: "Identifying challenges for a Sustainable Digital Society"

Workshop outputs

Outputs from the workshop are now available; also linked in “Resources” at the bottom of this page.  A call for proposals, “Digital Economy Sustainable Digital Society”, which was developed in consultation with outputs from this workshop, has been issued on the EPSRC website. Please click on this link for more information.

Key dates

Deadline for submission of expressions of interest - Thursday 14 May 2020 16:00

Applicants notified of decision - Week commencing Monday 18 May 2020

Workshop date and venue - Thursday 11 June 2020. The workshop will take place virtually (using Zoom)

Brief summary

This is a call for expressions of interest to take part in a one-day scoping workshop to explore how research can tackle the challenges in establishing a Sustainable Digital Society. The outputs of the workshop will be used to scope a Digital Economy Theme call to be funded by EPSRC for up to £5m.

The workshop will be held on Thursday 11 June 2020. The workshop will be held virtually; further details will be circulated to successful applicants in due course.


The EPSRC Digital Economy Theme would like to build a picture of the research challenges and opportunities in establishing a Sustainable Digital Society (SDS), building on the newly developed Digital Economy Theme Priority area.

We would like to identify key areas for future research and understand important gaps in the current research landscape.

The workshop

The one-day workshop on Thursday 11 June 2020 will provide an opportunity for participants to engage in discussion, identify research challenges and initiate new collaborative working partnerships. The outputs of this workshop will be used to develop the scope of a targeted call for research projects, which will be published in summer 2020.

There will be a pre-workshop activity for delegates to complete online using the Well Sorted tool, which will help to frame our discussions on the day. (Please note that discussion sessions at the workshop may not cover all points submitted to Well Sorted.)

The outputs of the workshop will be summarised in a workshop report and published on the website following the event, to inform the wider community and feed into future Research Council strategy. 

Objectives of the workshop

The principal objectives of the workshop are to:

  • Establish the main research challenges and opportunities within the EPSRC "Sustainable Digital Society" priority area
  • Discuss the current capabilities in the UK to create a Sustainable Digital Society and pinpoint any gaps
  • Produce a list of priority areas and sub-priorities for research that will be used to develop a targeted call for research projects
  • Generate output that will inform future Research Council strategy

Applying to attend and selection procedure

Applications are encouraged from diverse disciplines (technological, economic, cultural, social, legal, ethical, behavioural and political), including participants who represent academia, business, users and policymakers.

Those wishing to attend the workshop should complete the short Expression of Interest form (please see list of questions asked, provided for information only). This will be used to select a balanced group of participants, with the aim of securing a diverse representation of institutions/organisations, expertise and career stages.

Places are limited and the number of attendees from a given organisation may be restricted in the event of high levels of interest. Applicants should be willing to share any information with colleagues and act as an ambassador on their behalf.

All submissions should be sent using the form below. The deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest is 16:00 on Thursday 14 May 2020. We are unable to accept applications after this deadline. Applicants will be notified of the decision the week commencing Monday 18 May 2020. 

An attendee handbook will be distributed to successful applicants prior to the workshop (including attendee name, organisation, department and a brief bio). This is to allow the delegates to engage with their colleagues prior to the workshop and to contribute any thoughts they may wish to feed in.

Location and date

The workshop will take place virtually (using Zoom) on Thursday 11 June 2020. An application will be considered as confirmation of availability on this date and a commitment to attend if selected. Full details of the virtual set-up and an agenda will be made available to the selected participants.

Please note that parts of the workshop may be recorded. Any recordings of discussion sessions will only be used internally within EPSRC.

Contact details

For further information, advice or queries regarding the workshop or application procedure please contact:

Sonia Raikova –

Gemma Adams –

Digital Economy inbox –

Contact Details

In the following table, contact information relevant to the page. The first column is for visual reference only. Data is in the right column.

Name: Sonia Raikova
Job title: Portfolio Manager (Digital Economy Theme)
Organisation: EPSRC
Telephone: 01793 442703