My Digital Hero: Rachel Coldicutt, CEO of Doteveryone

We’re asking some of our industry’s leading figures to nominate their digital hero and to explain what’s so special about them.

Rachel Coldicutt, CEO, Doteveryone, was picked by Anna Rafferty as her My Digital Hero. Here Rachel returns the favour, choosing her digital hero. Currently CEO of responsible technology think tank Doteveryone, over her 20-year career in digital, she has worked at the Royal Opera House, the V&A, Endemol and the BBC. She is also the founder of Culture Hack Day, co-founder of arts innovation agency Caper and a trustee of the Fawcett Society.

Who is your digital hero?

Hera Hussain.

What have she done to win hero status in your eyes?

Hera makes more change in her spare time than most of us make in a lifetime. In addition to her day job at Open Contracting, she also runs Chayn, a global volunteer network addressing gender-based violence. One-in-three women worldwide experience some form of gender-based violence, and Chayn works with survivors to create easy-to-use and access online resources.

Hera helped two friends escape abusive marriages and found it really difficult to find the basic information they needed. She thought if she could just put together critical information in easy language online, it could change lives and solve real problems.

How has her heroism helped drive digital?

Chayn takes best practice from web design to help vulnerable people at point of need. Women who want to escape or are fleeing gender violence need easy access to the most convenient services they can find, and Chayn uses simple language, collaborative design and open source to help people who have been let down by traditional services.

It is built with survivors, not for them, and all of the resources reflect the intersectional lives of the women that need them. Lots of big charities and public services can’t match the quality of service that this volunteer-run website offers. 

What the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

Re-inventing online communities. The web and digital technologies were meant to bring everyone together but in reality, they are making us more and more individualistic.

If we can work out how digital technologies can bring us together, perhaps humanity has a chance to solve the really big problems, like the climate crisis. 

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

Ha! I wouldn’t call myself a hero, but I’m proud of the work we’ve done at Doteveryone to make responsible technology the new normal.

I hope that every bit of software that’s shipped using our Tech Transformed techniques will make the world a better place.

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