PhD Researcher - University of Cambridge | Public relations | Civic & social tech

Richard J Dent

PhD Researcher: University of Cambridge | Public relations | Civic & social tech

About Me

I’m a London based PhD researcher and public relations & civic technology consultant. Previous clients include European Commission, Leonardo DiCaprio’s The 11th Hour project, James Cameron’s Avatar Alliance Foundation, TckTckTck climate change NGO, Ninja Tune Records, BBC World Service, Lily Cole’s Impossible app. To learn more about my consultant work click here.

I am a strong believer in using the latest academic research to inform my work. In addition to my PhD research I am involved with the University of Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy (CSAP). I give informal policy advise to civil servants, social entrepreneurs and NGOs. My areas of expertise include digital tools for social and community development, public relations, post-disaster digital technologies, digital tools for refugees. Learn more about my work at the Centre for Science and Policy website.

I am also  research affiliate at the University’s Networking for Development lab where I help develop low cost internet access. My current focus is on helping provide cheap or free smart phones and connectivity to refugees through the Techfugees Cambridge project (see below). Read more at the Networking for Development website.

Current projects

Media industry
 – social marketing and public relations
I currently work for music producers and app makers Coldcut, founders of Ninja Tune Records. I help design their civic engagement projects, cultural activism and social media presence. We are currently working on the Free West Papua campaign.
Coldcut website

Dream Catchers
Dream Catchers is a new project I am developing with Young Urban Arts Foundation that aims to bring well known musicians, visual artists and videographers to work collaboratively with the victims of Grenfell and other local creative talents who live in tower blocks in London.

Voluntary projects

Techfugees Cambridge
I am the co-founder of Techfugees Cambridge, part of the digital sector’s response to the refugee crisis. We are a group committed to supporting Internet connectivity in refugee camps. We are currently developing a project to recycle smart phones for refugees.

Cambridge Refugee Campaign
This project is a group of students from the University of Cambridge who care passionately about refugee education and hopes to respond to the refugee crisis in a way that is appropriate for them; and so organize the student community to systematically raise money for refugee scholarships at Cambridge for graduate and undergraduate level.
Whilst at Cambridge I developed a civic technology project called This platform allows users to post policy ideas then others vote these ideas up or down whilst using the comments section for debate. This platform has various applications such as direct democracy and crowd policy development. (password: betaAccess001).