The group will support the team at Dorset Council in making the county a Digital Place, using emerging and new digital technologies to help create vibrant, safe, healthy and prosperous places that meet the current and future needs of communities, businesses and visitors.
Chief executive at Dorset Chamber of commerce and Industry, Ian Girling, is one of the board members. He said, “I’m very excited about the things that this new board plans to achieve and I’m very pleased to be part of it.
“The work we are doing will help people use new technologies to make their lives easier and bring them new opportunities. We will also keep pushing for greater digital connectivity across Dorset which will lead to a whole range of benefits for anyone in Dorset including transforming public services and driving economic growth for the county. The opportunities for businesses are huge and this is very timely given the transformation we have seen in business models over the last nine months.”
The aim is to ensure that Dorset residents not only have access to connectivity and infrastructure, but also have the skills required to interact in a digital way. In turn, businesses will then have access to people with the digital skills they need.
Deputy Leader of Dorset Council, Cllr Peter Wharf, also sits on the board. He said, “People are sometimes put off by the word digital, but it simply means using data and technology to improve people’s lives, listening to what they need and understanding their experience to design solutions.
“The most important thing is not the technology itself, but what we do with that technology and how we give everyone the skills they need to make the most of it.”
Projects the board could take on include developing a Dorset Skills Partnership, trialling the use of 5G in novel ways and finding ways to reduce the off-line population of Dorset, particularly through the use of volunteer digital champions to provide basic digital skills training.
Mr Girling said, “Everything will come together under digital leadership which will set the digital aspiration for Dorset and help us to increase the things we can do and create a truly digital culture.
“This will make a real difference to people’s lives and bring great benefits for anyone who lives and works in Dorset or who visits.”
The board, which is made up of representatives from a number of Dorset organisations who are all working together, is responsible for agreeing funding, making decisions over work programmes, being accountable for delivery of contracts and identifying further digital opportunities.
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