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Ep 57. Maximising digital inclusion, Will Plant

Digitalisation is a big part of the future of the public sector, however, organisations need to make sure that their digital ambitions don’t leave communities lagging behind, or unable to access the services they need.

Discussing how organisations across the sector can transform digitally, bring communities with them, and his career in digital inclusion, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Will Plant joined host Dan Benn on the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.

Exploring what digital inclusion is, Will said:

“Last year the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee published a report on digital exclusion, and they flagged within this that there is no typically accepted definition. The way I see it, it is like most forms of deprivation, exclusion, inequality… it’s very subjective and it will mean something different to each individual that experiences it.

“There is no typically accepted definition, but that’s not a bad thing for me. I think it’s an opportunity and it’s a great way to convey the fact that any kind of digital inclusion support needs to be adaptable.”

Will also touched on how to engage with people who face digital exclusion, saying:

“Engage early and listen to what the communities want and need. Use that as the jumping-off point. We see lots of local authorities bow with roles similar to mine, like digital inclusion lead, digital inclusion programme manager, but I think if every local authority can recognise that digital inclusion is not only a huge challenge that needs to be overcome, but also a massive opportunity to either re-engage the disengaged, or engage those who have never been engaged, and try and maximise the benefits to that services can provide to the public.

“That can be something as simple as nominating a digital champion.”

To hear more from Will about how organisations across the sector can continue to drive digital transformation, whilst bringing communities along with them, listen to the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast now.

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