Our COP26 events

Minimum Digital Living Standard Workshop

Minimum Digital Living Standard Workshop

Social Sciences Hub
Date: Thursday 25 April 2024
Time: 13:00 - 16:00
Venue: Clarice Pears 102
Category: Public lectures, Staff workshops and seminars
Speaker: Simeon Yates, Professor of Digital Culture at University of Liverpool;Bridgette Wessels, Professor of Social Inequalities at University of Glasgow
Website: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/minimum-digital-living-standard-workshop-tickets-827120318137?aff=oddtdtcreator

There has been a major shift in thinking about the way we understand the role of digital in household wellbeing and inclusion. Digital technology access in households – whether that be for education, work, leisure, or health – can be a huge challenge for a myriad of reasons, and the Covid-19 pandemic made clear the very real consequences of digital inequalities in the UK for people and places. Internet is increasingly being considered as a utility, and yet despite this, current policy measures for digital inclusion underestimate and misunderstand households.

This workshop will introduce and explore the first study to develop a Minimum Digital Living Standard (MDLS) for households with children across the UK, creating a benchmark for digital inclusion. The project aims to influence policy and research debates beyond the issues of access and skills. The research employs deliberative engagement with households, and a framework has been developed which encapsulates digital needs. With extensive research already completed in England and Wales – which has already fed into Welsh policymaking – expansion into Scotland is the next step.

“A minimum digital standard of living includes, but is more than, having accessible internet, adequate equipment, and the skills, knowledge and support people need. It is about being able to communicate, connect and engage with opportunities safely and with confidence.”

  • MDLS website

This workshop will be of interest to researchers working on topics surrounding poverty, digital inclusion, and household financial wellbeing, amongst others.


1pm-1:15pm - Registration and refreshments

1:15pm-1:30pm – Introduction (Prof Bridgette Wessels and Prof Simeon Yates)

1:30pm-2:15pm – An overview of MDLS research to date (Prof Simeon Yates)

2:15pm-2:30pm - Break

2:30pm-3pm – Putting the research into practice: Implementation with the Welsh government (speaker TBC)

3pm-3:30pm – Respondent (Prof Bridgette Wessels)

3:30pm-4pm – Workshop discussion and Q&A


Simeon Yates, Professor of Digital Culture at University of Liverpool

Simeon Yates is the Professor of Digital Culture in the Department of Communications and Media at the University of Liverpool and Joint Director of the Digital Media and Society Research Institute. He has undertaken research on the social, political and cultural impacts of digital media for over three decades. A major focus is on projects that address issues of digital inclusion and exclusion. He currently works with both academic and government colleagues to develop policy and interventions to support digital inclusion. This includes working with the UK’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the UK’s media regulator Ofcom, and the Welsh Government as well as charity organisations such as the Good Things Foundation, Cwmpas in Wales and SCVO in Scotland.

Bridgette Wessels, Professor of Social Inequalities at University of Glasgow

Bridgette's research focuses on social exclusion and digital divides, financial exclusion and the e-economy, social media and political inequality, health inequalities and telehealth, welfare services and (digital) identity, local journalism and inclusion and e-policing, ethnicity and communities. She is also addressing the developing uses of open and big data in open services and data-driven science.

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