Challenge Themes


SPRITE+ activities are centred around our 4 broad Challenge Themes (CTs), and exploring these Themes via Challenge Working Groups. These Themes were identified by online consultation and a meeting of 75 SPRITE+ Expert Fellows from academia, business, the police and government, which took place on 28-29 November 2019.

Our CTs relate to security, privacy, identity, and trust and are relevant to a wide range of societal and industrial concerns. Each Theme has technical and non-technical aspects, where an interdisciplinary approach is essential to fully addressing the Challenge.

Digital Vulnerabilities

  • How should we conceptualise, identify and assess susceptibility to future digital harm?
  • How might we protect networks, hardware, individuals and organisations from increasingly complex harms and/or make them resilient in the face of harm?
  • What roles will technology, people, organisations, governments, and societies play both in enabling and reducing digital risks and harms?

Digital Technologies and Change

  • How will digital technologies develop and become socially embedded over time?
  • What choices will people, organisations and societies have in developing, selecting and using future digital technologies and how could they exercise that choice?
  • How can ethics, regulation, policy, education etc. keep up with the pace of technological change?
  • How can legacy, present, and future technologies come together to form a digital ecosystem that works for everyone?
  • How might the concept of ‘identity’ change, and what will that mean at all levels, from individuals to communities to nation states?

Accountability and Ethics in a Digital Ecosystem

  • What new issues of trust and accountability could arise in the future digital ecosystem, and how might existing issues evolve?
  • What will be the roles of regulation, legislation and ‘self-policing’?
  • How could privacy, fairness and accountability be built into new technology (‘by design’)?
  • How will individuals and organisations verify identities?
  • What will influence future stakeholder perceptions of what is ‘good’ technology and ‘good’ technology use?

Digital Technologies, Power and Control

  • How do we create empowered, informed communities with the knowledge and ability to make fair choices about the impact of future technologies?
  • What could prevent future technologies deepening the digital divide, worsening existing power asymmetries, and creating new ones?
  • How can we develop enabling, useable technology?
  • How do we balance individual needs with the needs of a community, a corporation, or a state?
  • Who will have a say in how technology is used to inform decisions, and how will marginalised voices be heard?

If you have any feedback on any of the Challenge Themes please contact us at admin@spritehub.org.

Call for Events is now open! We're supporting Members and Expert Fellows to lead activities that explore aspects of TIPS in the Digital Economy. We will help to organise the activity with up to £5,000 to cover the associated costs.