FutureGov Wish List

I went along to FutureGov‘s Government Wish List event @ NESTA on Monday night. The idea, a brainchild of Dominic Campbell, was to bring an MP into contact with some webby types to find out what they loved about the Web and how the Government can and should support its development.

In this case, the honourable gentleman was Derek Wyatt MP, Sittingbourne & Sheppey, and a more traditional-looking MP you could not hope to meet. Quaffing red wine and with the vocal lilt of the lyrically self-appreciative, Derek sounded out his three main challenges for us to think about, namely: –

  1. Broadband takeup has plateaued at around 60% – what can we do about that?
  2. Porn accounts for 80 – 90% of Internet traffic – what can we do about that?
  3. Is there a future for the school in its current, battery-farm style?

Hot on the heels of Derek were two other speakers – Tom Hamilton, a Regional Partnership Director from BT, and Lee Bryant, a Director of Headshift. Tom’s message picked up on the broadband takeup plateau, asking what we thought were the compelling and new reasons for the last 30 – 40% of people to use broadband; Lee had the single decent message of the evening:

Maybe gov.uk could listen not consult

…and this was the problem really: Derek Wyatt MP and Tom Hamilton came, spoke and went; the audience and the speakers (with the expection of Lee, who is really ONE OF US) were like ships passing.

NEVERTHELESS!

The event became most enjoyable for me when the formal element was over and done with and I had the chance to talk to some of the audience who had caught my attention mentioning projects they work on. I think that everyone I spoke to was concerned with helping organisations improve their ability to listen, whether that is to a customer-base or a constituency. By way of example:

As my colleague Martin Budden likes to say, the best thing the Government can do is “get out of the way and regulate to protect the innocent”. To do this on the Web, the first thing they can do is have the bravery to let go of some control and take some risks.

[some video coverage here and other opinion here]

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 19, 2008 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I thought it was pretty funny that the meeting Derek had to rush off for turned out to be Twinterval. Nice post 🙂


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  3. […] Jon Lister’s colleague Martin Budden would put it, “the best thing the Government can do is get out of the way […]