It’s not about the technology

Last night saw a lively discussion here at NESTA Towers with a group convened by Dominic Campbell of FutureGov.  With the genesis of the meeting was in a blog post that Dominic wrote after his meeting with Derek Wyatt MP, chair of the All Party Communications group, the session saw the room filled with people from all backgrounds but united in their passion for government and the web.

Dominic no doubt will be writing an extensive report of the evening but in the meantime as a trailer for that, here is a little vignette.  The session started with short presentations by Derek Wyatt, Tom Hamilton (BT) and Lee Bryant (Headshift), each talking about what they feel government should be focussing on re: the interweb. 

Much of the early discussions being around digital inclusion and the infrastructure that will enable that. While that is clearly important, Anna Maybank, director of Social Innovation Camp helped redress the balance by reminding us that what has been special about the web in the last 3-5 years has been its ability to tap our appetite for action, both to improve our own lives and those of others. 

Yes, I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again…what is most exciting about the web is not the technology itself but what it enables…namely a richer, more connected, more personalised experience for us as people.  Therefore if we can design more service provision which starts from the person perspective rather than that of the legislator, systems integrator or ISP then we’ll at least know we’re addressing the right needs.


  1. Total agreement. The technology is not the key, web 2 is web do and about people, and the huge cultural shift.
    Those of us doing it, know that, those not seem to not dare consider the consequences.
    Cultural change takes a long time, installing kit is relatively quick.
    Longer term vision is required.
    However, on the plus side, people get it when they get it really really quickly.
    Give every minister a copy of Seth’s Tribes book or Tapscotts grown up digital and a few more will be converted.

  2. epredator ‘Give every minister a copy of Seth’s Tribes book or Tapscotts grown up digital and a few more will be converted’.
    My parents’ gave me a bible but I was not conveted, in fact the opposite! Minister’s will only ‘get it’ when it threatens them and to-date this has not been the case, they are still too insulated in their paper-strewn policy world.

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