Digital technologies are increasingly transforming our economy and society, and present great challenges and opportunities for Scotland’s towns. At Scotland’s Towns Conference attendees will be able to get to grips with the new digital world and how to ‘future-proof’ our towns at an expert-led workshop with David Wallace (Director, Major & Public Sector at BT Scotland) and Mark Collins (Founder and Director of Strategy and Public Affairs at CityFibre).
The conference, Scotland’s annual gathering of town stakeholders from across sectors, takes place on 21st November in Paisley Town Hall.
At the workshop, titled “Brave New World: Digital Future-Proofing”, the two industry leaders will offer their insight on how towns can navigate the digital landscape and take advantage of the possibilities offered by current and emerging technologies. Chaired by STP Chief Officer, Phil Prentice, attendees will also be able to ask questions on the issues that most matter to their towns. The workshop is one of two ‘town centre innovation labs’ being offered at the conference, the other focusing on Town Tourism with input from VisitScotland.
Points to be discussed at the digital workshop include:
- The role of digital connectivity in supporting successful towns and cities, and how to exploit the maximum benefit from the current technologies.
- The push to accelerate the transition to full-fibre, as well as the role local authorities can play in delivering this vision.
- The integration of smart functions over open platforms to improve how towns operate and residents connect.
During this digital session, Mark Collins will explore the Gigabit City concept and how local authorities are working to future-proof their digital assets by transitioning to full-fibre connectivity. He will also share case studies highlighting the transformational impact that this next generation infrastructure is having on local businesses, schools and colleges and other public services in Gigabit Towns and Cities.
Speaking ahead of the event, Mark Collins commented: “Investment in infrastructure such as roads, bridges and railways is widely known for its ability to deliver significant economic benefit. Digital infrastructure is no different, but in many ways, its benefits are much further reaching. Not only does it support those who build it, it drives the competitiveness, productivity and efficiency of those who use it – from small businesses and universities to public services like schools and hospitals. This is especially the case now as all aspects of our domestic, professional and civic lives move increasingly online.
“So if Scotland is to reach its clear potential as a thriving economy with clear digital leadership, its towns and cities must be on a level playing field with other digital leaders across the globe.”
Working with Town Leaders
David Wallace at BT Scotland said: “I’m looking forward to collaborating with Scotland’s town leaders on how we can exploit the great digital technology now widespread in towns from Lerwick to Lockerbie. Our national capabilities make so much possible, and I’m hugely enthused by what can be achieved.
“It’s not just about the technology though, or even what makes a smart city, but about how you design them, integrate smart functions over open architecture city platforms so that they talk to one another, consider how public policy affects and supports them. Smart technology has the power to not only change the way towns plan and operate, but how citizens, visitors and tenants connect and engage with the digital world around them. But we need to get it right.”