Dorset’s Digital Future – a Smart Rural Place

Written by Lucy Wakeford, Marketing and Events Coordinator, Digital Leaders

Local residents and businesses were able to gaze into the future of a digital Dorset at this workshop held as part of Digital Leaders Week. Local people had a chance to tell Dorset Council how they see their county developing and to think about the type of technology and systems they might be using in five, ten or 20 years. Topics covered included:

  • Will Agritech be Dorset’s top industry, will drones deliver our food, and will our children be educated online?
  • How will tech reduce Dorset’s carbon consumption, provide career opportunities for school leavers or enable people to remain living independently as they age?
  • How could we use technology in a rural county to tackle some of our local challenges?



Residents and businesses were invited to Breakfast at Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester to hear what experts think are the future digital opportunities and developments. This stimulated discussion of what our residents believe could and should happen, so we could start to consider the type of infrastructure and skills we need to facilitate for Dorset to realise its ambitions.

Digital Leaders in Dorset and elsewhere in England involved in digital place strategy or smart cities agendas were able to share ideas and thinking to what a ‘rural smart place’ might look like.


Group discussions covered different topics on:

  • Health and care
  • Economic growth
  • Education and learning
  • Environment (including future mobility and carbon)

There was a keynote session from a futurologist, round table discussions, and a chance for people to learn some new digital skills for the workplace.

The session started a countywide discussion which fed directly into the new Dorset Council’s Digital Place vision and strategy.

You can watch footage from the event here:


And view some of the traction on Twitter here:


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