Meet the Board: Rachel Neaman

July 23, 2018

Board member of the Campaign for Social Science Rachel Neaman

Board member of the Campaign for Social Science Rachel Neaman

Rachel Neaman is an experienced digital leader who has held CEO positions in the not-for-profit sector. She has a track record of running successful programmes to improve digital inclusion and digital skills, deliver digital transformation and ensure technology works for everyone in society. In addition to being a board member for the Campaign for Social Sciences, she is a non-executive member of the Digital Leaders Advisory Board, as well as a non-executive member of the DigitalHealth.London and the UKCloud Health Advisory Boards.

What is your social science background?
Rachael Neaman (RN):
I don’t have a formal social science background but studied languages at university. I started my career in publishing and have worked in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in the UK and internationally. I’ve worked in academic and public policy settings as well as in government and social impact organisations in the third sector. I specialise now in the impact of digital technology on society, digital leadership and strategy, transformation and skills.

How have your social science skills benefited you in your career?
RN:
There is a clear overlap between many of the issues surrounding the impact of digital technology on society and social science disciplines. Issues of trust, ethics and behaviour are core to the work I do and given the pace of change in our digital world, there is huge value in looking at the impact through a human rather than purely technological lens.

What motivated you to join the Campaign Board and what do you hope to achieve?
RN:
I strongly believe in the values and aims of the Campaign and the importance of the social sciences. As a Board member, I will bring my expertise in: public policy and practice from my work with government and the public sector; communications and outreach from my professional background; international perspectives from my links with global organisations; and fundraising and campaigning from my day jobs, to further the work of the Campaign and support my colleagues.

What are some interesting upcoming projects you’re working on?
RN:
I’m involved in a range of exciting projects. To give a flavour of the next few months,  I’m doing some work as a CEO Mentor for the Girl Guides to encourage more young women into careers in technology. I’m doing some filming on achieving agility through diversity looking specifically at how to ensure our tech workforce is as diverse as the society it serves. I am speaking in Australia in Adelaide at an international conference on digital humanities and in Canberra on the ethics of Artificial Intelligence (AI), both topical issues of great importance given the recent headlines on the positive and not-so-positive applications of AI. And of course I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Campaign Board to increase the impact of the social sciences across the UK.