4. Educate the movers and shakers. As these efforts got underway, I would spend some time to convince the decision makers in the city as to the need for London to become the most wired city in Canada.
I find that while many senior government and business executives can certainly speak to the future with a brave face – few of them really know what we mean by the “knowledge economy.” Hence, my fourth program as the CIO of London would be to provide them a crash course as to what this new era is all about.
I’d make them aware that Singapore is probably one of the greatest threats to the future economic health of the City of London. Government, business and education leaders in that city-state have convinced themselves that the future potential of their economic system is determined by its ability to plug in. And I would help them see that London will increasingly lose out to New Brunswick and other wired communities – if it can’t plug in.
I would teach them about the cooperative efforts that are underway in communities worldwide, and help them understand that if London doesn’t plug in, in a major way, it would be equivalent to a community that didn’t find itself on the main rail line in the 1800’s. Most of which died or suffered as a result.
5. Upgrade the skills and capabilities of community builders. The entire community of London won’t be able to move forward in establishing the infrastructure and capabilities necessary to the knowledge economy — unless those who are responsible for upgrading the skills of the rest of the people in the city are comfortable with the technology that will make it up.
I would hazard a guess that many people throughout the city still struggle with technology – particularly, teachers, librarians, social workers, municipal officials, and others who deal with the citizens of London on a regular basis.
The fifth thing I would do as the CIO of London is use the Netday London opportunity to provide education, training and background for these community builders as to what the wired economy is all about – and to assist them in getting over the many technology hurdles that they face on a day to day basis.
6. Forge a community consensus. London can only be a player in the new emerging wired economy if there is a real commitment to move forward. This means that government, business, and academia have to be prepared to work together to move forward. I’d spend my time to get commitment and consensus that London wants to plug into the future – and that teamwork will be the only method by which this will be accomplished.
7. Learn the secrets of the leaders. The seventh thing I would do as the CIO of London is find out what other communities are doing the best job – and learn from their success.
Out in the world of business, we’ve got a buzzword for how to go about doing the best job you can with any particular new initiative. It’s called “best-practices” research, and it simply means that you find out who is doing the best darned job with something – and emulate what they do..
8. Establish a set of community goals. This would allow the partners to establish the goals for the city in the short, medium, and long term. I’d get commitment to those goals from all players in the City of London.
9. Provide sources of funding. Business and government in the City of London must be prepared to fund any activities that might come about. You can’t just talk about the future – you’ve got to be willing to spend to achieve it. I’d get that commitment.
10. Encourage participation. I would declare to the emerging wired economy that the City of London is open for business – and would spread that message far and wide.
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