Karen Elliott

Karen Elliott

The Department of Finance
Chair and Professor of Practice in Finance and Fintech

Contact details

Business School
University House
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Karen Elliott is a socio-technologist and entrepreneur committed to ongoing research towards establishing an equitable digital society—sustainable and responsible outcomes for business, society, and the planet. Karen adopts an innovative approach in examining the wider academic and social impact of Digital Technologies, Sustainability, Online and Societal harms through the lens of Corporate Digital Responsibility (CDR). CDR is a mechanism with a manifesto to assist leaders and managers think about their use of data and digital technologies within and by their organisation across the social, economic, and environmental domains. She is a HEA Fellow with a proven track record of obtaining and leading large scale UKRI funded multidisciplinary research projects (£7.5m) and associated academic publications, editorships and reviewing (inc.UKRI applications). Furthermore, supporting the reduction of the digital divide in the UK as an Ambassador for the Digital Poverty Alliance and as a member of the Prime Ministers Champions Group for Dementia.

You can follow Karen on LinkedIn


  • Machine Learning Course, London School of Economics, May-July 2021, Distinction.
  • R and Python course, Jumping Rivers, April-June 2019.
  • Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) Expert Course,University ofSt Gallen, Switzerland, Grade ‘A’ achieved, 6-24 June 2016.
  • Durham University, PhD: Sociology, 2006 to 2013 (passed unconditionally) ‘Policy implementation as a wicked problem: A study of the horse-world’ (funded by DEFRA).
  • Durham University, MA: Social Research Methods, (Sociology), 2004-2006.
  • University of Sunderland, PGC: Human Resource Management, 2000-2001.
  • University of Teesside, BSc (Hons): Sport Science, Upper Second Class, 1996-1999.


Professor Karen Elliott is Chair of Practice in Finance and FinTech at Birmingham University Business School and Co-Director of the FinTech MSc Degree Programme. She has been named as ‘Standout #35 Women in FinTech Powerlist by Innovate Finance’ for Policy and Governance 2019, 2020 and listed for the new Hubs (governance) category in 2021. Furthermore, part of the Kalifa Review commissioned by HMT to drive the future of Financial Services and FinTech. Karen co-leads FinTrust, Agency, and the UKFin Network+ projects (£1.2m/£3.5m/£2.5m EPSRC/UKRI) with Prof van Moorsel to optimise trustworthy, responsible, and ethical AI, engineered to deliver citizen transparency, fairness, and inclusion. Likewise, co-led Finclusion (Gates Foundation/Turing Institute £100k), which explored verifiable credentials for vulnerable groups, focusing on dementia in the digital economy following her mother’s diagnosis.

Prior to joining academia, she worked as a project, change, and programme manager across public, private, and voluntary sectors. She has publications in international journals including IEEE (4*), ACM (4*), IJOPM (4*), CHI (3*), ERM (3*), Springer Nature: Society (3*), JOCM (2*), Big Data and Society (2*), Technology in Society (2*), whilst on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies (JEEE) and reviewing for several journals and UKRI grants. She forms part of The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems, (“The IEEE Global Initiative”) establishing ethical and social implementations for intelligent and autonomous systems and technologies inspiring the creation of Standards (IEEE P7000™ series and beyond). A member of the Prime Minister’s Champions Group for Dementia, Corporate Digital Responsibility, ForHumanity, Radix, the IEEE Global Initiative Planet Positive and an Ambassador for the Digital Poverty Alliance, Karen creates a fusion of academic and practical ethical considerations at the individual and societal level, seeking to find balance for an equitable digital society while protecting and sustaining the planet.


Co-Director of MSc Fintech

Postgraduate supervision

  • Fintech
  • Corporate Digital Responsibility
  • Data and Digital Ethics
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Sustainable Finance
  • Responsible Innovation


Co-I for UKFin+ Network EPSRC (£2.5m)

Co-I for AGENCY EPSRC (£3.5m) 

Research areas are as above:

  • Fintech
  • Corporate Digital Responsibility
  • Data and Digital Ethics
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Sustainable Finance
  • Responsible Innovation

Other activities

  • Member of Prime Minister Champions Group for Dementia – Digital Inclusion Lead, to inform the new strategy in development.  Attend bi-monthly meetings, draft strategy segments and provide research insights, attend meetings with government ministers.
  • Ambassador for the Digital Poverty Alliance - Attend quarterly meetings and assist other Ambassadors with a recycling scheme to repurpose devices to underprivileged areas.  In addition, provide research guidance and speak at events to inform policy.  The DPA is led by Lord Knight and Industry with Paul Finnis (see website for further details).
  • Corporate Digital Responsibility (.net) – founding member and work collectively on production of outputs. Part of the Digital Responsibility Forum – launching 2023, to provide CDR as a service, a mixture of academic and industry collaboration. Quarterly meetings and joint papers/reports.
  • IEEE Global Planet Positive – attend events and provide input into IEEE standards based on ethical AI, CDR, and digital inclusion. Quarterly meetings.
  • Radix – EU based think tank on digital issues. Quarterly meetings and research-based insights when requested.


Recent publications


Elliott, K & Copilah-Ali, J 2024, 'Implementing corporate digital responsibility (CDR): Tackling wicked problems for the digital era: Pilot study insights', Organizational Dynamics, vol. 53, no. 2, 101040. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.orgdyn.2024.101040

Horton, KE, Jacobs, G, Bayerl, PS, Gascó‐Hernández, M, Rothengatter, M, Elliott, K, Giljohann, S & Rus, CL 2023, 'In search of the silver‐lining: Police officers' attributions and responses to stakeholder critique', Public Administration Review. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.13753

Elliott, K, Coopamootoo, K, Curran, E, Ezhilchelvan, P, Finnigan, S, Horsfall, D, Ma, Z, Ng, M, Spiliotopoulos, T, Wu, H & Van moorsel, A 2022, 'Know your customer: balancing innovation and regulation for financial inclusion', Data & Policy, vol. 4, e34. https://doi.org/10.1017/dap.2022.23

Aitken, M, Ng, M, Horsfall, D, Coopamootoo, KPL, van Moorsel, A & Elliott, K 2021, 'In pursuit of socially-minded data-intensive innovation in banking: a focus group study of public expectations of digital innovation in banking', Technology in Society, vol. 66, 101666. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techsoc.2021.101666

Elliott, K, Price, R, Shaw, P, Spiliotopoulos, T, Ng, M, Coopamootoo, K & van Moorsel, A 2021, 'Towards an equitable digital society: artificial intelligence (AI) and corporate digital responsibility (CDR)', Society, vol. 58, no. 3, pp. 179-188. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-021-00594-8

Aitken, M, Toreini, E, Carmichael, P, Coopamootoo, K, Elliott, K & van Moorsel, A 2020, 'Establishing a social licence for Financial Technology: Reflections on the role of the private sector in pursuing ethical data practices', Big Data and Society, vol. 7, no. 1. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053951720908892

Elliott, K, Patacconi, A, Swierzbinski, J & Williams, J 2019, 'Knowledge Protection in Firms: A Conceptual Framework and Evidence from HP Labs', European Management Review, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 179-193. https://doi.org/10.1111/emre.12336


Aitken, M, Ng, M, Toreini, E, Van moorsel, A, Coopamootoo, KPL & Elliott, K 2020, Keeping it Human: A Focus Group Study of Public Attitudes Towards AI in Banking. in Computer Security., Chapter 2, Computer Security, vol. 12580, pp. 21-38. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-66504-3_2

Commissioned report

Worldline Discovery Hub 2022, The Payments Digital Divide Survey: Drivers and barriers for an inclusive cashless society. Worldline. <https://worldline.com/en/home/knowledgehub/scientific-reports/payments-digital-divide-survey.html>

Conference contribution

Toreini, E, Aitken, M, Coopamootoo, K, Elliott, K, Zelaya, CG & van Moorsel, A 2020, The relationship between trust in AI and trustworthy machine learning technologies. in FAT* 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency. FAT* 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency, Association for Computing Machinery , pp. 272-283, 3rd ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency, FAT* 2020, Barcelona, Spain, 27/01/20. https://doi.org/10.1145/3351095.3372834


Ng, M, Coopamootoo, KPL, Toreini, E, Aitken, M, Elliot, K & Van moorsel, A 2020, 'Simulating the Effects of Social Presence on Trust, Privacy Concerns & Usage Intentions in Automated Bots for Finance', Paper presented at 2020 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy Workshops (EuroS&PW), 7/09/20 - 11/09/20 pp. 190-199. https://doi.org/10.1109/EuroSPW51379.2020.00034


Ng, M, Coopamootoo, KPL, Spiliotopoulos, T, Horsfall, D, Aitken, M, Toreini, E, Elliott, K & Moorsel, AV 2022 'In private, secure, conversational FinBots we trust' arXiv. https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2204.10344

Spiliotopoulos, T, Horsfall, D, Ng, M, Coopamootoo, K, Moorsel, AV & Elliott, K 2021 'Identifying and supporting financially vulnerable consumers in a privacy-preserving manner: a use case using decentralised identifiers and verifiable credentials' arXiv. https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2106.06053

Toreini, E, Aitken, M, Coopamootoo, KPL, Elliott, K, Zelaya, VG, Missier, P, Ng, M & Moorsel, AV 2020 'Technologies for Trustworthy Machine Learning: A Survey in a Socio-Technical Context' arXiv. https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2007.08911

Elliott, K, Aitken, M, van Moorsel, A & Toreini, E 2019 'The relationship between trust in AI and trustworthy machine learning technology'. <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337703412_The_relationship_between_trust_in_AI_and_trustworthy_machine_learning_technologies>

View all publications in research portal