5 Big Questions: AMY O'DONNELL
The Possibility ClubOctober 16, 202236:0466.04 MB

5 Big Questions: AMY O'DONNELL

Can the internet ever be safe for children? What is the impact of digital exclusion on the UK economy? Why is our digital life usually demanding more and more from us?


In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to digital inclusion and online safeguarding expert AMY O'DONNELL.

Known for:

  • Senior Programme Manager (Social Impact) - Nominet
  • Project Leader - Digital Youth Index
  • Co-district Commissioner (Oxford) - Girlguiding
  • Former Digital Programme Manager - Oxfam

The Big 5 Questions:

  1. How do you measure the impact of what you do?
  2. How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?
  3. How do we build the workforce we need for that future?
  4. How do you use creativity to solve problems?
  5. How do you collaborate?

Key quotes:

"We can’t underestimate the learning that we need to do as a sector around power, around bias.”

“The only thing that we can do is have a quest for knowledge. Setting out with a mindset not to put ‘impact’ on this big pedestal, but rather the slower, more agile, pieces of the puzzle.”

“Over half of young people are teaching themselves digital skills.”

“We have to go beyond the idea of counting numbers, really think about feedback, qualitative insight into our learning, helping us see the world through a different lens, from a different perspective.”

“Organisations will only ever be as relevant as their ability to relate to individuals in their audiences. Putting people first, in human-centred design processes and in true processes of diversity.”

“The attention that digital platforms are demanding of us daily is having a huge impact on our mental health and the mental health of young people.”

“We know that 870,000 technology and digital jobs are open at the moment in the UK economy. This is presenting a huge risk to the digital economy because there are jobs not being done, but also wouldn’t it be cool if we made a strategy that made for a really diverse workforce, which allowed us to plug that gap with people with a diverse range of lived experience that could create those solutions for the future.”


Useful links:

// Amy O’Donnell (LinkedIn) // https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-o-donnell-17751518/?originalSubdomain=uk

// Twitter // @amy_odonnell

// Nominet UK // https://www.nominet.uk/

// Girl Guiding UK // https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/

// Online Safety Bill UK // https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3137


Online Safety Bill government fact sheet


// Tony’s Chocolonely social impact reports // https://tonyschocolonely.com/us/en/annual-fair-reports/

// Good Things Foundation https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/

// Nominet and Barnardos ‘Project Backpack // https://www.nominet.uk/barnardos-to-help-professionals-keep-children-safe-online-in-new-programme-funded-by-nominet/

// Nominet’s Digital Youth Index // https://digitalyouthindex.uk/

// The Scouts’ Digital Citizenship Badge // https://www.scouts.org.uk/staged-badges/digital-citizen/

// Microbit // https://microbit.org/


This episode was recorded in July 2022

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts