Our manifesto for a change

Posted on 13th September 2016

Written by Julian Blake, Editor, DigitalAgenda

DigitalAgenda is a new publishing and events venture focussing on technology that is for a change. We’ll report on digital innovation that makes an impact from across all sectors of the UK economy. Director Julian Blake explains why we’re here and what we’re going to do.

There are few things more certain in life than change. Some is welcome, some less so. Unsettling as it is, change also creates opportunity.

Many work in digital because they want to change the world for the better. They see the potential of technology to deliver positive change fast, and at scale.

Just as well, because there’s a lot that needs changing. Climate change is a reality. Global conflict is a constant. Inequality rules. If we don’t deliver the changes needed, we’re all in trouble.

Twenty-five years after Tim Berners-Lee created the world-wide web, digital pervades our daily lives in ways that would once have been unimaginable. It is changing the way we consume and share information. It is helping us to learn, locate and transact in different ways. And it’s all getting faster, all of the time.

We want technology that is for impact, not just for profit.

Digital is changing the way children learn. It is making people healthier. It is improving public services. It helps us respond to refugee movements and floods. And it helps us understand global trends.

We have founded DigitalAgenda to encourage and grow technology for a positive change. This means looking beyond the bottom line at the impact that technology makes on places and people, as well as business.

We aren’t saying business doesn’t have a role – the private sector drives innovation as no other. Business has a huge role to play in delivering positive change. Governments, too.

So our work will be about more than non-profit tech for good. We want to see how technology can help businesses save or make money, through increased efficiencies and creating the digital products that people need.

We will add in game-changing business ideas to our positive change mix, and encourage innovation that makes an impact, regardless of sector.

We’ll also back the people who want to encourage the best ideas through investment.

We’ll share and celebrate the best of technology for a change.

Through our content and networking events, DigitalAgenda is creating a space for people to share and grow their wisdom. And a forum to debate ideas.

We’ll present the leading lights in tech for a change. Through our new Impact Awards we’ll celebrate the digital innovations making a positive impact on people, places and business.

And we will look to the future, at emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the internet of things. Each can deliver positive change in their own way.

We’ll highlight what’s wrong, as well as what’s right.

Not all change arising from digital is for the better. Mega corporations have emerged offering new and must-have tech. Some now claim that the digital stuff around us makes us less happy.

Technology carries real risks around power, privacy, wellbeing, social cohesion and the future of work. So, while we will promote the best in digital innovation, we’ll be asking questions, sometimes awkward, of the people who run businesses and government.

Collaboration will be at the heart of what we do.

Success and growth today means sharing what we know.

We have a partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Network to help us deliver our work. And we have joined forces on events with organisations like Tech London Advocates and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

We’re a part of the 15,000-strong global Impact Hub network. And we’re working with a number of content partners, each looking to make an impact in their own way.

We’ll share what we know, UK-wide.

A talented team is behind DigitalAgenda, with expertise in editorial, events, business and of course technology. We will take a genuinely UK-wide view. A wise board guides us, representing not just London but across the UK. We have a base in Newcastle as well as in London.

We want to be open to all.

Our website will be a bank of wisdom that everyone can draw from. We’re opening up so you can submit your own business details under our people, society and business sections.

We are open to ideas across all that we do. If you want to find out more, want to attend any of our events, or have ideas for content or collaboration, please get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you.


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