ICT workgroup

Contact convenor: Norman Lewis

Details of the time and location of the next Workgroup meeting can be found on the Research page.


2010/08/10: Open data

The discussion was on ‘open data’ and future innovation: the promise and the barriers (social, political, economic and technical).

2010/06/01: Convergence

Present: Mike Short, Daniel Lloyd, Nico Macdonald, Phillipe Dewost, Rune Gellein and Norman Lewis. (Apologies: Dirk Trossen, Angus Kennedy, Keith Bradley, John Morris, Daniel Ben-Ami.)

The first ICT workgroup covered a lot of ground sparked by a very useful introduction by Daniel Lloyd on convergence. Although the introduction was very Telco-centric, it raised a number of very useful areas for future discussion which included:

  • Future trends in mobile devices where it is the device not the OS that is important – the detaching of UI from OS with HTC overlay on Windows Mobile being the disruptive change that has shifted the nature of the mobile industry;
  • Future of broadband access/business models and thus changes we can expect in behaviours (Steve Jobs telling AT&T they are ‘just pipes’ – future of the communications value chain);
  • Net Neutrality and ‘human rights’;
  • The Cloud – issues of regulation, security and the use of personal data;
  • UI and voice

The rest of the discussion attempted to categorise and narrow down this wide range of topics. The most useful discussion revolved around the question of what the aim of the ICT workgroup needed to be.

Mike Short suggested that because IT now underpins almost all key dimensions of twenty-first century life, the IT group should be regarded as the horizontal enabler upon which many of the other areas (particular verticals) we want to focus on as Big Potatoes now rest. There was a consensus that this made a lot of sense and from that perspective a few key areas emerged for future exploration/research:

  • Broadband benchmarking: focus – the rise of broadband penetration in Asia and its impact – relate this back the UK and the West and establish a framework around which this key enabler can be understood and what implications it will have for the future evolution of key sectors like biotech, infrastructure, the workplace, supply chains, logistics (transport of people and goods and services), smart cities, entertainment, co-operation and collaboration etc;
  • Opportunities/problems and affordances, inc. micro-electronics, materials, displays, sensor outputs;
  • Open data: barriers and obstacles to realising the potential of the free flow of data – again as a horizontal enabler for much of twenty-first century life – from central and local government, to transport, to health, behavioural marketing, personalisation, future of apps, etc.