Corsham Institute working with Digital Leaders South West community

Written by Catherine Knivett, Head of Partnerships at Ci

Corsham Institute (Ci) is delighted to be launching a new partnership with Digital Leaders. We’ll be working together to facilitate new and refreshing thought leadership, networking opportunities and exciting events for the digital community across the South West region.

Ci is an independent not-for-profit organisation, working for a fair, inclusive, prosperous and creative society, based on trust and security. At the heart of this vision is the need to give individuals and communities the necessary skills and tools to make the most of the opportunities created by our increasingly connected society.

We are proud of our roots in Wiltshire, and our place at the heart of Corsham’s rich heritage of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. So the opportunity to help expand and inform the Digital Leaders South West (DLSW) network is a natural evolution for us.

But our networks go much wider. We have a national approach, connections and reach, with extensive convening power across civic society, government, industry and academia. And our CEO, Rachel Neaman, is proud to be a member of the Digital Leaders Advisory Board and a former Chair of Digital Leaders.

At Ci, we recognise that we live in a world where the benefits of technological change risk being overtaken by fears around data protection, cyber security, fake news, the future impact of AI and automation, and the impact of biases in algorithmic decision-making. As our 2017 Thought Leadership programme identified, technology is developing so quickly, it is difficult for society, businesses, policy-makers and regulatory frameworks to keep up.

We are not disheartened by this. Instead, we are turning this situation on its head. We apply our research findings on the ground to find the best ways to support individuals to be empowered, skilled and informed to take action and to realise all the advantages of our digital world; and we support communities to connect with each other to design new modes of interaction and services. We look forward to learning from, and working with, the community of digital leaders across the South West to jointly take this approach forward for the benefit of the region as a whole.

We also work with businesses, policymakers, academics and not-for-profit organisations to put the citizen at the heart of thought leadership, research and policy that shapes our increasingly connected society. We are committed to building the communities of interest necessary to make this happen. For example, with RAND Europe, we recently launched the Observatory for a Connected Society, the first mobile app for policy makers and innovators focusing on the impact of technology on society. The launch of the Government’s UK Digital Strategy in March 2017 provided a clear framework to develop a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone. With the Government’s proposal for a new Digital Charter, the recent announcements of new investments in the tech sector, digital skills and R&D, aligned with the Industrial Strategy and the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, there is increasing impetus for organisations to learn best practice from one another and prepare themselves for a new and fast-evolving phase of digital innovation and technological change.

That is why this new partnership matters to us at Ci, and why we are looking forward to working with Digital Leader South West members to shape a programme of activity for the coming months to facilitate useful and relevant conversations.  We plan to host the first DLSW Salon in January 2018 (location and date to be confirmed). We would greatly appreciate just 2 minutes of your time to complete a short survey to inform the first topic for discussion. 

We look forward to working with you.

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