I’ve written a longer piece for Brand Republic about the Digital Britain Conference which you can see here. I went to the actual event for the last panel, not wishing to miss the debate about Digital Skills as I had something better to do at lunchtime. Like most of the digerati, I was able to follow the earlier part of the event with live tweets from a variety of sources [search #digitalbritain on twitter to see what I mean].
In short, there’s plenty still to do to achieve the vision set out in the original discussions six months ago. As I commented at the time, without creative vision, a Digital Britain will be a rather gloomy place. Einstein’s quote “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind” springs to mind. The various panellists talked about plumbing an poetry, but it seems to me to be a little to much plumbing and not enough poetry right now. I’ve hear Lord Carter and now Lord Mandelson talk about how our creative industries are ‘world leading’ and vital to sustaining the British economy. Great, but without investment and involvement in the sector at the pointy end of creativity, we can’t expect our pioneer status as a creative nation to survive.
I’m a firm believer in universal access to technology – I’m delighted that my mum in remote Scotland is able to keep in touch with wireless connection and laptop – and this is a critical part of defining a plumbing service level for the broadband providers, who are basically utilities. But without the magical spark of creativity in content, it won’t be much fun in the digital world, will it?