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Christina Colclough

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Christina Colclough
BornChristina Jayne Colclough
🏫 EducationB.Sc. University of Copenhagen (1998)
M.A. Lancaster University (1999)
Ph.D., University of Copenhagen (2012)
💼 Occupation
Founder, Why Not Lab
Known forFuture of work
Politics of digital technology
Data & AI governance
AI ethics

Christina Jayne Colclough is a Danish-English[1] policymaker and activist specializing in the future of work and politics of technology.[2] She authored some of the first global union policies on the governance of data and artificial intelligence for workers.[3][4] Colclough is the founder and director of the Why Not Lab. She previously led the UNI Global Union's The Future World of Work policies, advocacies, and strategies.[4] She is affiliated with the University of Copenhagen.[5]

Colclough was selected as one of the 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics in 2020.[6]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Colclough has a Danish mother and English father. Born in the United Kingdom, she and her family moved to Svendborg, Denmark when she was eleven years old.[7]

She graduated from the University of Copenhagen with a Bachelor of Science in geography in 1998 and received a Master of Arts from Lancaster University in political economy in 1999. Colclough battled a brain tumour, followed by a long period of recuperation. When the tumour seemed to show signs of returning in 2011, she decided to finish her thesis and received a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Copenhagen in 2012.[7][8]


From 2000 to 2001, Colclough worked as an account executive at Cohn & Wolfe, a global communications and public relations agency.[9] Colclough returned to the University of Copenhagen as a researcher in the Employment Relations Research Centre (FAOS) from 2001 to 2007.[5] The FAOS was a research center in the university's department of sociology examining the labour market, industrial relations and, employment relations, particularly applying Danish, Nordic and European perspectives.[10]

She then joined the Nordic Financial Unions as General Secretary for five years, where she lobbied European Union regulation. In 2013, she was appointed Acting General Secretary at the Council of Nordic Trade Unions.[7][11] Colclough served as the Head of Affairs for UNI Europa, a European trade union federation that represents seven million European workers in service sectors, for the following two years.[12][13]

Colclough then led policy work at the UNI Global Union as the Director of Platform and Agency Workers, Digitalisation and Trade until 2020.[14] She engaged with global institutions, workers, experts, and companies to develop and raise awareness of policies in relation to the future of work. At the UNI Global Union, Colclough helped launch the WeClock open source project, which sought to help workers collect and visualize data on their wages and working conditions.[15]

Currently, Colclough is the founder and director of the Why Not Lab, a consultancy working with trade unions, governments, and organizations to help improve the digital future of work.[16] She is also a member of the steering committee of the Global Partnership on AI, an advisory board member of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs[17], an advisory member of the OECD AI Expert Group, and a member of the UN’s Secretary General Roadmap for Digital Cooperation.[18]


  1. Global, U. N. I. "Christina Colclough". UNI Global. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  2. Canada, LG Electronics. "LG and Element AI Collaborate on Content Hub for AI Experience Exchange". Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  3. "Christina Colclough, author at Social Europe". Social Europe. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "AI as a Tool for Workers' Empowerment, with Christina J. Colclough | Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs". Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  5. 5.0 5.1 FAOS (2020-07-02). "Christina Jayne Colclough". Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  6. "Hall of Fame". 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics™. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Wallin, Gunhild (2013-09-09). "Christina Colclough is fascinated by the Nordic cooperation model". Nordic Labour Journal. Retrieved 2021-05-12. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. "AI Intelligent Machines Smart Policies" (PDF). OECD. Retrieved 2021-05-12. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. "Christina Colclough". POLITICO. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  10. FAOS (2009-05-18). "About FAOS". Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  11. "NFUs General Secretary, Ch. Colclough, appointed NFS General Secretary". UNI Global Union (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  12. "UNI Europa's Christina Colclough at Politico event on the Industrial Internet Era". UNI Global Union (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  13. A vision for the EU 'sharing economy' workshop – Christina Colclough (Uni Europa), 2016-03-16, retrieved 2021-05-13
  14. Global, U. N. I. "Christina J. Colclough, Director". UNI Global. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  15. "Gig Workers Gather Their Own Data to Check the Algorithm's Math". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  16. "About". The Why Not Lab. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  17. "Board of Advisors". Carnegie Council Artificial Intelligence & Equality Initiative. Retrieved 2020-12-12.
  18. "Christina Colclough | OECD.AI Policy Observatory". OECD.AI Policy Observatory. Retrieved 2021-05-12. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

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