Diversity in Technology

Digital transformation - Cloned

Candidate ID

  • Institution : Municipality of Amarante
  • City : Amarante
  • Country : Portugal

I am looking for

  • Lead Partner

Diversity in Tech

Concept note for an URBACT IV Action Planning Network

(Created by Alison Partridge)




URBACT is the exchange and learning programme for European cities. It supports networks of cities to come together around common challenges, to exchange experiences on potential solutions, to test those solutions and to co-create action plans with local stakeholders. URBACT IV will be launched in the Summer of 2022 and the first call for proposals is expected in the Autumn.


This concept note sets out a potential Action Planning Network on the theme of Diversity in Tech. It is built upon the premise that not only is inequality in any sector unacceptable but also it is also bad for local city economies as it means that a lot of talent is going to waste. For small and medium sized cities looking to grow knowledge-based digital and tech economies the lack of diverse communities (including women, people of colour, migrants, older people and people from lower socio-economic backgrounds and others) entering the tech and digital economy is becoming a real problem. Cities, and the businesses they are home to, simply cannot afford to miss out on more than half the population. One potential solution is to do more connect these under-represented communities with opportunities in digital and tech entrepreneurship and employment.


Whilst some larger cities are starting to develop potential solutions to this problem, there is less activity in small and medium sized cities and once again a risk that they will be left behind. URBACT offers a unique opportunity for 8-12 cities to learn from each other and tackle this challenge together.


Thematic focus and activity


There are many different lenses through which to view diversity in tech. Based on conversations so far, the following themes seem to be of greatest interest:


-        Tech Talent – exploring what cities can do to better prepare under-represented communities for employment opportunities and connect them into roles in local tech and digital businesses.


-        Tech Entrepreneurship – exploring what cities can do to support under-represented communities to build, run and scale tech and digitally enabled companies.


-        Understanding the ‘what’s and whys’ of diversity and inclusion – supporting cities to understand the different characteristics and communities within their populations and what it takes to create inclusive and diverse digital economies.


Within these themes the network would enable partner cities to:


-        really understand the local challenge, its cause and effect

-        map and engage local stakeholders from the public, private and third sectors

-        learn from each other, from experts in the field and from experienced practitioners

-        exchange experiences on what is working and what is not in each other’s cities

-        Use the learning to develop and test new projects and activities to address the local challenge

-        co-create an integrated action plan and attract funding to deliver it




This is a network which will enable small and medium sized cities from across the EU to leverage the benefits of their human-centred scale positively. It is for cities who know they must go on a tech journey and are aware they need to be innovative, think creatively and learn from others in order to realise their potential. To date, the following cities have been involved in initial scoping conversations:


-        Boulogne sur Mer, FR

-        Barnsley, UK

-        Cadiz, ES

-        Tartu, EE

-        Bielsko Biala, PL

-        Gdansk, PL

-        Tampere, FI

-        Gavle, SE

-        Pardubice, CZ

-        Amarante, PT



What are we looking for?


A Lead Partner that can show real commitment to the theme of diversity in Tech (not focused on gender only) with capacity to lead the network.



Interested? Send your expression on interest!