Game-plan for a tech cluster?

Martha Lane Fox delivers 2015’s Richard Dimbleby Lecture on understanding the internet more deeply.

Having now watched Martha Lane Fox’s Richard Dimbleby lecture, I have to thank (and echo) those that encouraged me to watch it. I think it’ll go down as one of the most important call to arms of our generation and it really deserves to become one of the most viewed videos on the web. Perhaps it’s resonating with me more than it would normally, fresh off the back of a trip to the States and still full of inspiration from the land of thinking big and everything’s possible.

Lane Fox talks about how the UK trails the U.S. in its technology business successes, but that we have a real opportunity to lead the world again by addressing some of the biggest challenges faced by everyone, head on. Highlighting diversity in technology, equal access for all, and unpicking the complex moral and ethical issues that the internet presents, she talks about her vision for a national institution called Dot Everyone.

With an election looming, Lane Fox suggests that the current political offering just isn’t resonating, because the choices we’re being asked to make aren’t good enough. “In a digital world, it is perfectly possible to have good public services, keep investing in frontline staff and spend a lot less money.”

The lecture is a lovely reminder that the UK has been instrumental in the birth and growth of the invention that powers so much change around the globe. Importantly too, it’s a shot in the arm to those doubting that we can keep pace with the innovation coming out of America. If London is the capital of Europe in start-up-land this side of the pond, then perhaps the newly emerging tech clusters around the UK, including our own, can shine brightly by excelling at the challenges Lane Fox describes.

While I ponder that one, make sure you watch the lecture. Best 45 minutes you’ll spend this week.

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