Speaking at the annual Richard Dimbleby Lecture on Monday, tech champion and founder of lastminute.com, Martha Lane Fox, outlined her beliefs that the internet should benefit and empower EVERYONE, and called for more digital imagination in the UK. She spoke of the necessity for the UK as a whole to become more digitally literate, arguing it would have huge positive effects on the economy, culture, people, health and happiness.
“It is within our reach to leap frog every nation in the world and become the most digital, most connected, most informed on the planet” Lane Fox.
The lecture promoted Martha’s idea that the UK needs a new national institution that would lead an “ambitious charge” towards making the UK the most digital nation. While stating her dislike for stuffy government institutions run by traditional grey men in even greyer suits, she admitted it would need government funding, however would be independently run. The 3 main areas Lane Fox recommended should be priorities for this digital institution were:
How do we improve understanding of the internet at all levels of society?
How do we get more women involved in technology?
How do we tackle the ethical and moral issues that the internet has created?
These issues were at the core of the lecture, outlining how digital literacy can help everyone make more sense of the world, and stating that by 2020, the UK will need to fill 1 million jobs in the digital sector. Martha entitles her visionary institution, ‘Dot Everyone’, because it should be all about ensuring everyone knows how to properly engage with the internet. She quoted the late Aaron Swartz to simply sum up her feeling:
“It is not ok not to understand the internet anymore” Aaron Swartz.
Martha discussed the predominance of American, and significantly Californian, monopolies in the digital industry and questioned why there are not more British digital companies on the top 100 list. Coincidently, or perhaps without any coincidence at all, the UK Government allocates only 1.8% of GDP to spend on research and development, while the US allocates 4.5%. Lane argues that if every UK SME was helped to understand the internet properly and given advice on how to use it to benefit their business, a huge £18 billion would be contributed to the UK economy.
“Only 30% of businesses in the [UK] small to medium size business sector are buying or selling online” Martha lane Fox.
If you already have a digital marketing campaign with The Click Hub, then you are in the minority of clued-up small to medium business owners who are reaping the benefits the internet has to offer. If not, do not fear. The very fact that you’re reading this blog puts you ahead of the game, as you are someone who actually realises the importance of the digital for increased innovation, efficiency and profits. With the majority to consumers using the internet everyday, make sure your website can be found, functions efficiently and converts its website traffic into those all important sales. In the lecture, Martha Lane Fox challenged:
“Why can’t we be the most digital powered up people on the planet?” Martha lane Fox.
But we ask you,
Why can’t YOU be the most digitally powered up business in your local industry?
If you suspect your website isn’t operating to its optimum potential, or to discuss any digital queries, talk to the experts at The Click Hub and get on the path to digital and business prosperity today.
“The beginning is always today” Mary Wollstonecraft, as quoted by Martha Lane Fox.