On Monday 18 May I took up the position of Research and Policy Manager at ScotlandIS. It has been strange starting “virtually” but thanks to the wonders of technology and very friendly colleagues, it has been a seamless transition. As an organisation, ScotlandIS has consistently led the charge for a digital and AI strategy in Scotland, which we now sit on. I am particularly excited to accelerate this agenda for our members and ensure Scotland becomes a world leader in digital, AI and data. In my previous role, digital, technology and connectivity were all passions of mine to work on, as I believe these sectors are key to ensuring sustainable, economic growth across all regions of Scotland.
I am passionate about digital skills being a key lever to encapsulate fairness and inclusivity in Scotland. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us and if we can get this right in Scotland then we can transform our society into one in which all individuals are empowered in the world of work. Employers in Scotland need the right skills and to do so, we all have a duty to ensure these digital skills are accessible to all. The world of work will undoubtedly change as we currently know it, but Scotland is resilient, adaptable, and ambitious. Collaboration with Artificial Intelligence and Data is vital if we are to successfully embrace the opportunities they can foster.
Part of my role is maintaining regular contact with the digital economy team and Digital Directorate at Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the UK Tech Cluster Group and other stakeholders. I am keen to ensure our members’ feedback is conveyed to the highest levels of government and they have a strong voice in both governments during this period of uncertainty.
Everyone has been affected in some way by the COVID-19 pandemic and it has been a challenging time for all sectors across the world and in Scotland. However, it seems apparent that digital and tech services are going to be key to the upcoming recovery and Scotland can be a world leader here. To do so, we must ensure that nobody is left behind, an exciting initiative the team at ScotlandIS are already ahead of the curve on. I truly believe that the digital and tech sector can lead Scotland’s economic and social recovery from COVID-19.
A key part of that recovery phase was launched earlier this week. The ScotlandIS Challenge, launched by ScotlandIS in partnership with The Scottish Government, is calling on companies of all sizes to submit ideas, by Tuesday 16th June, that will help increase the pace of Scotland’s digital progress and develop the critical national digital and data infrastructure the country needs. The digital and tech sector will be an integral part of the policy landscape moving forward and I look forward to engaging with all ScotlandIS members regularly on various policy related issues. In the meantime, please feel to get in touch with me, firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn.