We have seen major policy initiatives and interventions over the past 10 years which pitch Wales as an aspiring “digital nation”: from significant national infrastructure investments, mechanisms to stimulate innovation and attract high-value industry, through to substantial education and skills reforms. With eight months until the next Senedd Cymru elections, the success or failure of these various initiatives and investments will be increasingly scrutinised in public and in the media, providing the platform for manifesto pledges and future government policy.
This challenging political, policy and economic context is clear, now more so with the significant impact of COVID-19 and the rapid shift to remote working, online education and training, and fundamental changes to our work patterns and modes of operation. So what does this mean for the future economy of Wales – and how can we develop a digitally confident and capable citizenry to support a number of possible futures? In this year’s Digital Leaders Wales Annual Lecture, Professor Tom Crick MBE of Swansea University, will reflect on the wider digital policy context, framing the major challenges and opportunities for Wales within the UK, Europe, and globally. Through the lens of recent work and activities, including the publication of the new Curriculum for Wales, the recent Review of Digital Innovation and the Future of Work, City and Growth Deals, and the first year of work from the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales, Professor Crick will outline the potential for positioning Wales as a national-scale, citizen-centred, open technology and policy testbed, leveraging diverse digital, data and computational assets across the public and private sector for enhancing our society, culture and economy.