“For better or for worse, technology shapes society, but we can - and must - influence the path it takes. Newspeak House is the place to tackle this head on”
Founder & President of Open Knowledge
Fellow of Newspeak House
“A residency at Newspeak House is a unique opportunity to connect with communities and ideas from across domains of politics, technology and social science”
Senior Policy Manager at NHSX Centre for Improving Data Collaboration
Fellow of Newspeak House
Study With Us
Newspeak House is a hub for communities working to change society with technology, spanning all kinds of civic institutions, from government, politics, activism, charities, journalism, thinktanks, NGOs, philanthropy, to academia.
At the heart of Newspeak House is its residential programme, running since 2015. Seven residents spend a year immersed in these communities, enjoying the chance to meet thousands of people and attend events held on their doorstep.
It is designed to support mid-career technologists gain a holistic understanding of the civic landscape in the UK, in order to found groundbreaking new projects or seek strategic positions in key institutions. It’s ideal for people who have been working professionally for several years and are now looking to grow their network and spend time reflecting deeply on how they can best have impact on the world.
Residents will have the opportunity to:
- Learn from leading expert practitioners working in senior positions across UK institutions
- Get immersed in a wide variety of emerging civic communities of practice
- Develop strong relationships with a close cohort of peers while living together in centrally located college accommodation
- Learn the theory behind how our social and political world changes through a range of lectures, seminars, and reading groups
- Work on your own projects with the guidance and mentorship of our faculty
Upon completing the course, you will be invited to join the Newspeak House fellowship, the start of a lifelong relationship with the institution and its networks.
We are looking for a diverse, interdisciplinary group that brings a mix of backgrounds, methodologies, fields, and professions — practitioners, researchers, developers, lawyers, advocates, activists, educators, entrepreneurs, journalists, technology industry actors, those coming out of a government office or position, policy analysts, public intellectuals, and those whose practice doesn’t fit squarely into conventional categories.
Residents must be open to living in close proximity to other people, and be enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and network, and developing mentoring relationships. We prioritise applicants who are excited about connecting with and contributing to other residents, fellows, members, organisers, and the growing communities working on political technology.
A principal benefit of residency is the opportunity to engage with the collegiate environment and activities happening on campus, and so while we recognise that some travel is unavoidable, residents should plan to spend the majority of term time living in college accommodation.
Residents should plan to spend at least sixteen hours a week focused on the course itself. This will be a mix of seminars, pair work, self-study, and attending events. Course content is adapted to the needs of the cohort, but broadly the first half of the year is focused on group exercises and getting an overview of the field, and the second half on developing your individual projects.
|September||New residents move in|
|Start October||Autumn Term Starts|
|Early December||Autumn Term Ends|
|Early January||Spring Term Starts|
|Late March||Spring Term Ends|
|Mid April||Summer Term Starts|
|Mid July||Summer Term Ends|
The course fee for the entire year is £2400, payable in two installments; upon acceptance of your offer, and at the start of your residency.
Living in college accommodation is a mandatory part of the residency, and costs £900 per calendar month, payable from October 2022 until August 2023 inclusive.
Thanks to generous gifts from fellows and community members, there are some full and partial scholarships available. Please indicate in your application if your participation is contingent on a scholarship.
How to Apply
There is a short application form, primarily serving to give us an idea of what your interests are, and to start a conversation with us as to whether a residency might be the right thing for you. Applications are taken on a rolling basis until all spaces are filled. We encourage you to submit your application even if you're not sure if you want to take the course, or if you feel you don't have time to complete the form to your satisfaction.
Applicants will be invited to attend an interview, either at the college or remotely. We have found that the best candidates tend to have the following qualities:
- Activist: There are wrongs in the world that you want to set right, and you feel a personal responsibility for taking action. This has affected your career decisions, or you have some track record of volunteering or organising.
- Open: You worry about whether your work has impact. You don't currently have a single project that you're deeply focused on, and are open to meeting and learning from people who may not obviously possess knowledge you're looking for.
- Technical: You've shipped projects with real users. You're not afraid of getting your hands dirty and building things, or have experience directly managing other people who do. This does not necessarily mean that you're a software developer - after all we are in the midst of a no-code revolution - but you're not put off by the idea that you might be spending time learning how to make something.
- Gregarious: You are ready and able to live and work in a communal setting. You enjoy meeting new people. You go to meetups for fun, perhaps you have organised one.
- Connected: You have some kind of online presence. You take part in distributed communities. You have a smartphone. You respond to attempts to communicate with you in a timely manner.
- Diplomatic: You're able to engage tactfully with many different kinds of people and communities, the cultures of which you may not agree with.
- Diverse: You bring with you a network that's not yet well represented at Newspeak House.
Newspeak House is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We welcome applications from people of colour, women, the LGBTQIA community, and disabled people. Unfortunately though, the lodgings offered are not wheelchair accessible, and space is not available for partners/family. Also, aside from service animals, roaming pets not allowed.
While we welcome applications from outside the United Kingdom, we are currently unable to support the acquisition of visas. If you are applying from outside the United Kingdom and are accepted, you will need to secure your own visa and, depending on your situation, work permit.
You're welcome to reapply if you don't get selected the first time.
If you have any questions about the course or the application process, don't hesitate to reach out via [email protected] or @nwspk. Questions about the opportunity or process will not reflect negatively on an application.
The wellbeing of our residents is of great importance to us. Newspeak House employs a chaplain and retains a pastoral board who are there to provide support for the emotional and psychological health of those who stay with us.
During the first month of residency we will host a series of onboarding sessions designed to help create a culture of care and mutual support.
Even in communities where everyone has the best of intentions, things can sometimes go wrong. Our pastoral team are experienced in community harm prevention and response, and we will proactively deal with any conflicts or pastoral issues should they arise.
If you would like to know more about our pastoral provisions, please contact [email protected]
Economist (Urban and Applied Micro), Data scientist, Researcher at UCL Department of Economics
Projects: Ethnic Discrimination in Rental Market, Roadworks Side Effects on Restaurants, Public Transport and Employment Gender Gap, Forced Migration and Development