Digital Britain Summit – Equipping Britain for a digital future
16 April 2009
Joint DCMS/BERR Press Release
Technology and communications experts will debate how best to equip Britain for a digital future, at a Digital Britain summit in the British Library tomorrow.
Speakers including telecoms CEOs Ian Livingstone, Neil Berkett and Ronan Dunne, technophile Stephen Fry, Universal Music’s Lucian Grainge, Johannes B. Larcher from Hulu, Hirouki Hishinuma from the Japanese Government and Will Hutton, Chief Executive of the Work Foundation, will join 250 industry leaders to address how to secure Britain’s place at the forefront of the global digital economy.
Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, Sly Bailey (Chief Executive, Trinity Mirror) and John Fingleton (Chief Executive, Office of Fair Trading) will deliver keynote speeches.
Stephen A. Carter, Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting said:
“The health and success of our digital information and communications sectors are crucial to the future strength of Britain’s economy. In the interim Digital Britain Report, we set out our ambition to fully exploit the shift to digital technology.”
“This summit will bring together some of the leading thinkers in the Digital Economy. Their views on how to develop our infrastructure, develop our content and creative industries and keep pace with international competition will be invaluable as we finalise our thinking over the next two months.”
There will be four panel discussions to debate the key challenges set out in the interim Digital Britain Report:
- Fixing the Plumbing: preparing for tomorrow’s digital networks today
Expert Moderator: Francesco Caio, Vice Chairman, Nomura International
Panellists: Neil Berkett, CEO, Virgin Media, Ronan Dunne, CEO, Telefónica O2 UK, Ian Livingston, Chief Executive of BT Group, Stuart McIntosh, Competition Partner, Ofcom
Infrastructure issues will determine the UK’s readiness to fully exploit the dramatic shift to digital technology, and require that our wired and wireless communications and broadcasting networks are upgraded to maintain our position and meet our ambitions.
- The New Digital Arms Race
Panellists: Stephen A. Carter, Samuel Sun, CEO, Huawei Technologies,
Hirouki Hishinuma, Director for New Competition Policy, Ministry of Internal Affairs & Communications, Japan.
While UK Plc is internationally recognised as being strong in digital technology, other countries are increasingly making the development of a digital, knowledge economy a centrepiece of their own economic development. This session will look at different approaches around the globe to achieving a successful digital economy.
- Promoting the Poetry: joining the dots between creativity and digital content
Expert Moderator: Anthony Lilley, Chief Executive, Magic Lantern Productions
Panellists: Lucian Grainge, CEO, Universal Music, Johannes B. Larcher, Senior Vice President of International, Hulu, Dan Hon, Co-Founder & CEO, Six to Start, Jess Search, Chief Executive, Channel 4 Documentary Film Foundation
Whilst digital is creating a richer, more colourful world for us all as consumers, it is also bringing new challenges for content creators.
- Being Digital: Equipping our society for the digital future
Expert Moderator: Andrew Chitty, MD, Illumina Digital
Panellists: Will Hutton, Chief Executive, The Work Foundation, Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive, British Library, Caroline Thomson, COO, BBC, Stephen Fry, Broadcaster & Technophile
The average British adult spends almost half of all their waking hours using the services of the communications sector, so the Digital Britain initiative is not simply a question of economic competitiveness, but also of fairness. We need to ensure that everyone can connect to the digital economy and that its benefits and advantages are available to all. This means ensuring that all have access to the skills to participate effectively; and that the content and services available provide everyone with a good reason to take part.
The summit can be followed online at the Digital Britain forum website. This will include a link to the live video stream of the event so you can follow proceedings and submit comments as well as questions for the speakers and panel.
Interested parties can also follow proceedings via twitter or tweet questions to @digitalbritain.
The discussions will inform the final Digital Britain Report which will be published this summer.
Notes to editors
- The full agenda can be found at the Digital Britain Summit website.
- Background information and the interim Digital Britain Report is available on the DCMS website.
- The Interim Report highlighted a number of areas where further detailed analysis was needed. New reports have been published today. Government welcomes the work that has been put into these reports and will consider them carefully, along with the other input the Government has received, in preparing the Final Digital Britain Report this summer. They can be found on the DCMS website.
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