What happened at that March event on LawTech?

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Back in March, we had a brilliant event, on...you guessed it.. Law Tech! We know right…that was an obvious one.

However, it seems that many within the legal industry today, are seldom acquainted with the fast moving advancements technology has to offer, and that other industries more readily pickup. Instead many legal mechanisms often place themselves within the confines of archaic office systems and settings. This is either for better or for worse, depending on who you talk to. 

The wonderful Rachel Kenyon and Dr John Haskell talked to us more about this in March and we listened keenly to their development insights within these spaces. We also ventured onto the topic of misinformation online with the fantastic Dr Jennifer Jones, and learnt that propaganda can come in many shapes and sizes…

Both Rachel and John have been readily leading the charge on law and technology based initiatives here in Manchester, in recent years. Included in this has been the Manchester Law and Technology Initiative, focused on developing university-business collaboration around legal tech research. This project has worked towards future skills training, exploring the organisational effects of new legal technologies and curriculum development on campuses, just to name a few. In addition to this, both Rachel and John have helped organise numerous local and global ‘legal hackathons’, attracting interest from the Legal Council and other organisations with an interest in fairer access to justice.  

So, what is the aim of all of this? Well, with added research and awareness of law and technology’s compatibilities, a new, progressive, thought collective is growing. One with the aim of showcasing a need to develop a new tech embracing business model in today’s legal landscape. Rachel and John, we really enjoyed your talk and we know the audience did too. So thank you!

Jennifer, was our next tech for good guru who kindly enlightened us to the more scarier implications of tech and law/ journalism: the recent growth of misinformation online. Quite literally terrifying stuff, we should all be actively doing more about in our everyday lives. Even right now. I would even advise you check this out for alternative facts.. just to be safe… go ahead, I’ll wait. 

Excellent, now you’ve done that, let me tell you more about Jennifer’s amazing talk. Jennifer’s experience with online misinformation took a turn for the worst when, instead of being a potential consumer of misinformation, like the rest of us, she became a target of the misinformers. This manifested in a number of ways, including tumultuous twitter strife and eventually, flat-out smear campaigns and slander. 

During her talk, Jennifer highlighted to us key identifiers that can help us understand this topic better, and eventually, create a strong online contingent against it. We learnt that propaganda can act in a number of ways to dismiss the truth, distort it, distract others from it and create dismay around it. This can however be combated if we make sure we realise that we are all, in effect, online bystanders on this topic, and therefore must equip ourselves with tools to combat it. A 2-day hackathon called CredCon considered this impact and showed how trust, reliability, accuracy and credibility can all be used to meet this growing challenge. We thank you Jennifer for this informative talk and hope the rest of us take heed!

A big thank you to everyone who joined us in March. We look forward to seeing you at future Tech For Good Live events! Sign up to our Meetup page here to find out more!

Sacha Wynne, Tech For Good Live

Sacha Wynne