Technology in a transforming Britain: is uncertainty the new certainty?
Being a citizen and a business person in Britain at the moment may feel a little like a rollercoaster ride. The economic and societal implications of Brexit, the ever-increasing skills gap and confusion about the way careers and workplaces will evolve as a result of technological advances (will we be replaced by ‘bots??) mean we are excited and unsettled about our new reality in equal measure.
It was our aim to explore the many facets of the debate about Britain’s future in a digital world at the February Executive Discussion Evening and we certainly did that, with the help of our guest speakers; former Diplomat and Foreign Policy Advisor, Tom Fletcher and CEO and Academic, Daniel Hulme.
Fujitsu’s Chairman, Michael Keegan, kicked-off the discussion with some sobering headlines from Fujitsu’s research into this very topic, highlighting that only 37% of the British public feels equipped for a digital future, and only 10% believing they have the skills required to be successful.
Inevitably, the discussion led to an exploration of the roles of education, government and business in equipping Britain (and Britons!) to compete in a global economy.
All speakers agreed that education and collaboration lie at the heart of Britain’s ability to be successful. We need to overhaul what – and how – we teach young people, focusing less on facts and more on nurturing their innate curiosity and supporting them in taking risks that will ultimately allow them to be creative and innovative.
And what about Britain’s role in the global economy, particularly in light of Brexit? Our speakers reflected a key theme from Fujitsu’s research; that we need to teach future generations how to co-exist, collaborate and co-operate – with 8 in 10 business leaders saying that access to global partnerships will be key, surely co-creation will be a fundamental driver of Britain’s future success.
Tom Fletcher - Former Diplomat and Foreign Policy Advisor
After ten years working for the Foreign Office in London, Nairobi and Paris, Tom returned to the UK and 10 Downing Street as a foreign policy advisor. Joining towards the end of Tony Blair’s premiership, he stayed in office through Gordon Brown’s time, and into David Cameron’s administration, before being posted to Beirut.
Tom has played a part in summits, negotiations and conferences at the highest level, whilst also overseeing the everyday aspects of representing the UK abroad, therefore he is equipped to look at the big picture issues of global power structures, how things are changing, the increasing power and significance of technology companies – and the implications of Brexit.
Tom was the UK’s youngest ever ambassador when he was appointed the country’s representative in Lebanon and is the author of Naked Diplomacy, a look at diplomacy in the digital age. He will share his insights into the future of Britain post-Brexit, the implications of technology for future generations and Britain’s role in the global economy.
Daniel Hulme - CEO, Academic and Advisor
Passionate about creating a positive technological future, Daniel works at the intersection of technology, innovation, organisation and ethics. Daniel believes that technology will require radical changes to how companies operate and how global economies work.
After studying computer and cognitive science, as well as management and computational complexity, Daniel has since balanced work in both academia, public and private sectors.
Seen by many as a peer of Google’s DeepMind, Daniel founded Satalia, a company that applies AI to solving difficult business and social problems. Through his experience of applying AI he advocates the creation of companies and workplaces that are not just open, ‘flatter’ and collaborative, but also inclusive. He looks at how these organisations can thrive, how they will innovate faster and how ethics and values of consumers and employees must be taken into account as they implement new structures.
Your host - Michael Keegan - Chairman of Fujitsu UK & Ireland
Michael Keegan will be your Fujitsu host for the evening. Michael is Chairman of Fujitsu UK & Ireland and leads the Product business for Fujitsu across EMEIA, where his primary focus is on driving innovation by tracking changing customer requirements and market trends.
Landing Forty Two at The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, is situated in the heart of the City and just a few minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street, Fenchurch Street, Bank and Monument Stations.
Access to the events floor is via the Building’s glazed external-facing high-speed lifts, which deliver guests to the venue in just over 30 seconds.
Landing Forty Two, The Leadenhall Building, 122 Leadenhall Street, London, EC3V 4AB
About Fujitsu Executive Discussion Evenings
Held twice a year, Fujitsu Executive Discussion Evenings (EDEs) bring together an influential community of senior decision-makers from across the UK's public and private sectors to discuss key boardroom-level issues.
Executive Discussion Evenings are free of charge to Fujitsu’s invited contacts and offer this community the opportunity to hear valuable insight from a range of business leaders, opinion-formers and subject-matter experts alongside networking with a senior peer group.
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