Part two of this week’s ‘state of the localgov nation address’ are two subjects close to my heart and close to my interests – it’s all about digital and innovation. Whilst these two areas often overlap they are actually two different beasts in many ways, so it’s worth considering them individually before combining the two.
For no reason other than alphabetical let’s begin with digital. In some ways the last few years feel like nothing much has altered: we’ve still got arguments over Twitter and Facebook, examples of archaic social media policies, no-one’s cracked single sign-on and IE6 just won’t die. However, scratch a little of this surface and you’ll find, in the same way as the Sopranos episodes where nothing happened yet everything changed, we’ve actually come a long way.
Much of the shift in digital thinking can be attributed to one person – the never-to-be-known person who convinced someone that they should ask David Cameron to ask Martha Lane Fox to do a quick report into the state of our digital nation. In line with many of these reports, that she was asked was in part down to her celebrity status and public name; however, unlike some other reports the Digital Britain paper was well thought out, realistic and set out a path that would make a real difference to the work and thinking of the public sector, and through them the prospects of residents around the country. (more…)