Grading Britain?s digital progressThe strategies implemented by government indicate a three-year plan for the business community to make significant progress on the digital skills question. Lane Fox suggested that commercial indicators, like Lloyds? digital skills index, will be important in grading Britain?s movement on technology by 2020. ?Being able to assess basic digital skills is a crucial part of the puzzle. We can look at our infrastructure and speeds, that?s something we can tangibly measure. ?What is harder to gauge is our general digital understanding. However, we can judge the success of that if we?ve got better productivity, if our exports are growing and if we can build a world post-Brexit. All of this is irrelevant unless it helps us build a more resilient and robust economy in the future.? For Lane Fox, the UK?s entrepreneurs and business leaders could look beyond top-down policy and play a crucial role in ensuring a digitally-capable future for Britain. She outlined two strands of ?digital leadership? business owners can incorporate into their company?s ethics. ?If your organisation has anything to do with technology ? whether it?s using it or creating software ? ensure you are doing it in the most inclusive and diverse way you can. Think about the human angles of technology ? not just designing for the early adopters, but designing for the people we don?t want to leave behind,? she explained. The second strand, according to the dot.com entrepreneur, is applying the ethics of sustainability to technology, in terms of energy and supply chains. ?Just because it?s virtual doesn?t mean you shouldn?t apply the same standards as the real world,? she added.
A future of ethical technology according to Martha Lane FoxWith Article 50 now triggered, and Britain tasked with re-asserting itself in the world order, Lane Fox urged business leaders and politicians to take control of the country?s ?digital destiny?. She is firm in her belief that technology has yet to fully empower the people who use it. ?It is here, in the space where ethics and tech meet, that Britain can be a world leader,? she said. But in real terms, what could this future look like in Britain? According to Lane Fox: ?It could be one that celebrates not just digital skills but digital understanding ? the ability to both use tech and to comprehend, in real terms, the impact it has on our lives.? Adding colour to these ideas, she pointed to gender diversity programmes within the French startup community. She suggested the UK government has yet to fully embrace the capabilities of small tech companies in Britain in the public supply chain to the same extent as the United States Digital Service. ?Or it could be one that calls on every sector to build innovative, forward-thinking cyber security,? Lane Fox?added. ?This is not just about digital. It?s about finding the future of Britain. We?re about to be a smaller country alone in a large world. There is no society more fit to lead the world in ethical technology, and so the role is ours for the taking.? Martha Lane Fox is one of our small business decision makers for 2017 ? the?influencers leading future policy and enterprise promotion in the UK
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