European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

Digital Ethics

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Ethicaldig Illu
How can cultural operators choose tools and platforms that are sustainable, inclusive and respectful of our data?

Digital presence and tools are the cornerstone of any cultural organisation's development. But how to navigate the digital shift without loosing sight of our values? How can we make sure that they fit our needs and that we are not serving theirs?

The ENCC and Digital Ethics

The COVID-19 pandemic intensified and speeded up the digital shift. As the ENCC coordination office translated a large part of their activities online, we felt the need to evaluate our digital choices and reflect on them. This working group is a community of practice gathering both experts and cultural professionals interested in the topic, to build momentum around it and experiment together.

In 2022, we launched a project to renew its communication and digital office tools with a strong focus on ethics, inclusion, and transparency. This includes defining an ethical, inclusive, and transparent approach to digital for cultural operators, testing alternatives to GAFAM platforms and tools, and reflecting on the digital shift itself, underlining the value of non-digital tools, events, and communications. One of the first results is the publication On Digital Ethics for Cultural Organisations, co-written with Pierre Huyghebaert from Spec uloos.

In March 2023, our annual conference put digital practices, ethics, and sustainability in the spotlight, with half a day dedicated to digital researchers, artists, and practitioners, and a hands-on workshop on alternative digital practices.

Experts and practitioners with experience, needs, challenges, or questions to share with the group are welcome to join. To find out how to participate, please contact Cigdem at cigdem.ozdemircelik@encc.eu.

Our working group on Digital Ethics is a transectorial platform open to ENCC members, other cultural operators, partner networks, civil society organisations, and students and educators from the IT sector. It is coordinated by Lapo Bettarini, a member of the ENCC Advisory Group. Meetings of the group have been ongoing since August 2021. Participants' organisations include: 

Let's Talk Privacy, 25 January 2024

The third breakfst of our Digital Ethics working group focused on data protection. In the first part of the morning, we presented highlights from the EDRI's Privacy Camp 2024. The second part was dedicated to an informal discussion on privacy in collecting and sharing data. Inputs from participants were brought to the conference on Empowering the Cultural and Creative Sectors in Data-Driven Audience Development, which took place in February 2024.

Workshop: Get Started on Mastodon, 20 September 2023

It is always challenging to make the move from  "big tech" to free and open-source digital tools. That' s why at the ENCC coordination office we decided to hold a workshop to let us all ease into the world of ethical digital tools.

Digital Culture Breakfast, 14 June 2023

On June 14th at our offices in Brussels, we held a Digital Culture Breakfast to continue our conversation on digital ethics and breathe new life into our working group. 

Presentation of the publication on Digital Ethics at Culture Action Europe's lunch talk, 24 April 2023

This lunch meeting in collaboration with Culture Action Europe was a great opportunity to discuss the project to move away from predatory, Big-Tech extractive digital tools, and towards infrastructures that align on values with cultural orgs, especially cultural centres, which are positioned on the intersection of cultural and social work