Building our Connected Society
Findings from the 2017 Thought Leadership programme
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The impacts of digital technologies in all areas of society have been at the forefront of news and political agendas: from 'fake news' and online extremism through to global cyber-attacks and Artificial Intelligence.
As digital technologies rapidly transform every aspect of our lives, the impact they have on individuals will not be felt equally across society. The UK's 'connected society' needs to address a variety of challenges if it is to benefit from digital technologies. If the digital skills gap is not addressed, then existing inequalities will increase. If proper planning for social and economic disruption does not take place, then many will be excluded from the potential benefits. If the risks around data use and ethics are not anticipated, then public trust will be undermined. And, if empathy and social norms in the online world are not prioritised, then civic engagement and democracy may suffer.
The report summarises the key themes that emerged across four Thought Leadership sessions focused on aspects of the UK's connected society. These covered: digital learning; open science; digital currency; and civic engagement. Delivered in partnership between the Corsham Institute (Ci), RAND Europe and St George's House, Windsor, the Connected Society Thought Leadership programme brought together senior figures from academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organisations.