Open Data and the Future of Work were discussions that played a big part of my day yesterday. I was very excited to be able to attend the Canon UK Safe and Smart seminar held at the prestigious One Bird Cage Walk venue. Bob Pickles, Head of Public Affairs at Canon hosted the event brilliantly, kicking off with the insight that two thirds of organisations work with confidential documents but 70% of these print these same documents - leaving scope for data to be taken from the print records.

Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office summed up our current situation brilliantly describing the majority of her constituents suffering from 'Digital Discomfort' as their fear of being traced online (an invasion of privacy) outweighs their understanding of the opportunities open data offers them.

A perfect example was given of a person not wanting their private medical records to be shared by anyone, but having had an accident that same person would absolutely hope that the medical practitioner caring for them was aware of their medical history so can care for them most effectively.

Emer Coleman, ex Deputy Director of Digital Engagement at the Government Digital Service and founder of DSRPTN shared her advice to organisations considering a more Open Data approach to 'Go Ugly Early' - i.e. get started and then review any tweaks required with the input of the public rather than waiting and spending months scoping the project. Emer made a compelling argument for organisations to adopt the values of the digital approach and become more agile in their business approach.

Martin Jordan, Head of Cyber Response at KPMG concluded with a very clear insight into how Cyber Risk has jumped from 12th to 3rd place in Board level priorities since 2011.

The event gave plenty of food for thought - despite many developments that have been achieved through Open Data they are not widely reported and few of us know that vast amounts of data are available via the Freedom of Information Act which could be used for social good. There is no doubt that a fresh view of existing data could lead to multiple discoveries and developments - from mapping disaster areas to helping aid workers through to medical discoveries.

One thing of note was that the panel at the Canon event was an equal mix of men and women. Strong female role models within the tech space, which was perfect on Ada Lovelace Day.

This led on well to the second event I attended yesterday which was hosted by Body Data Space. The event was held at the 'birthplace of feminism' - which seems appropriate on a day celebrating the life of the world's first computer programmer who also happened to be a UK female mathematician, Ada Lovelace. Jacqui Taylor of Flying Binary presented 'Women Shift Digital', a programme of work including debates, workshops and a conference in November to encourage females to join the digital sector for active and successful professional careers.

Having spent the majority of my career working in tech communications, I find this an exciting arena. Above all, because the developments in digital offer so many opportunities to creative thinkers - male and female.

This blog just touches the tip of the iceberg, without even going into debates about generational influences, legal implications, etc. We'll be talking more about the Open Data movement within thefuturestory, but I also hope the following link will be useful:

www.bodydataspace.net

 

 

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