Glasgow Digital Skills Summit – positive talk and positive action

Yesterday we attended the DoItDigitally Glasgow Digital Skills Summit, in Glasgow’s beautiful City Chambers, run in Partnership with Glasgow City Council and Microsoft. With no less than 7 keynote speakers, 3 panel discussions and 2 ‘unconference’ operational sessions, it was a packed agenda with a lot of great debate.  

Attended by around 200 delegates from Scotland’s Public, Private and Third Sectors and a strong showing from the Microsoft partner network, it was a day primed for lively discussion. So in the spirit of ‘digital’, here are the tweeted highlights of the day’s big topics!! #doitdigitally

Gordon Matheson opening the
#doitdigitally summit, announces Glasgow's new Digital Strategy. "We in Glasgow will make good our claims"

Councillor Gordon Matheson opened the day by setting out the ambition for Digital Glasgow, a shared vision to make Glasgow a world leading digital city in the next 5 years. The leader of the Council echoed GCC’s commitment to furthering their relationship with Microsoft across the city's programme to ensure that the whole of the city has not only a world-class digital infrastructure to bring new businesses and jobs, but the capacity to ensure continued growth by using the digital skills of residents, businesses and organisations.


Microsoft describing a range of applications across planning, transport, government services and so on #doitdigitally

Microsoft’s Director of UK Government, Derrick McCourt, took to the floor and outlined our vision for the future of Cities. Microsoft too is on a journey, and as with Glasgow, we too are ambitious for our business, our people and our clients. Some great examples of work that Microsoft is doing in Cities was covered from the TfL BusChecker App to the Microsoft Research built  technology demonstrator which showed how, by placing a Kinect and Skype-enabled TV in their lounge, we can know if an elderly relative has not moved from the sofa for, say, 30 minutes. And if there is cause for concern then we can automatically trigger a call to a relative or carer, from the TV, to check the person is okay.

Digital inclusion challenges discussed by Wheatley Group

A sobering keynote from the Wheatley Group, the partnership of Glasgow Housing Association and other social housing partners. Only 37% of their customers are online, WAY behind the City and National averages. Pilots are being put in place such as a trial of WiFi to high rise block of 138 families in Knightswood.


#yammer got more than a few references today at #doitdigitally

Lots of mentions of yammer on the day as a great collaboration tool and for developing digital conversations in business and helping SMEs communicate better internally and with Gen C! A panel member from Microsoft cloud partner IA3, gave the example of her 17 year old daughter, who has all but given up on email, she is on Facebook and twitter all day long!


Bailie Liz Cameron discussing the Digital Economy and SME's. #doitdigitally

Following a great Keynote from Bailie Liz Cameron, David Coyne, Head of Business and the Economy at GCC led a panel discussion on the Digital Economy and SMEs-Innovate or Stagnate (why are digital skills important?). A shocking statistic from a 2011 Boston Group report showed only 1 in 3 SMEs are engaging with their customers online. The panel all agreed that there needs to be a change if SMEs want to survive in this digitally savvy world. The same reasons for SMEs digital barriers come up time and time again; time resources and lack of understanding. Our young people, Gen C, have the digital mindset and confidence that our companies need – yet Glasgow has a major problem with youth unemployment. There is a market failure in matching supply and demand, there are some good programmes out there, but is there enough?


The best consumer companies listen and engage in the places where they hang out. Lesson for public sector David Burrows #doitdigitally

David Burrows, Microsoft EMEA’s industry lead for Government was the final keynote speaker for the day and also sat on the panel discussing digital public service delivery. Views to come out of this were; Public Sector needs to follow the best companies by watching what their customers are saying and then reacting. We need to do different with less, as service needs innovation and talent. David references GovCamp and  hackathons as ways of opening up to the art of the possible to get more value back from a range of participants. A big point of debate was that social networks can help us improve public sector services, but it takes more than government portal with a ‘like’ button. Meaningful data is key! Big Data is under-exploited by the public sector to date!

All in all, it was a successful day with some great debate, fantastic speakers and a lot of passion for helping individuals and communities benefit from digital products and services. We now  look forward to our next doitdigitally event in Birmingham! Watch this space for more information on that!

Comments (0)

Skip to main content