A Brave New World? Why business must ensure an inclusive Digital Revolution

May 20, 2017

The digital transformation of the UK economy is a significant opportunity to drive growth and prosperity for the betterment of both business and citizens. It also offers the chance to reduce poverty and inequalities, improve livelihoods and enables us to better manage growth on a finite planet. However, this digital transformation also presents challenges to society. Some forecasts suggest that as many as ten million jobs (35 per cent of today’s UK workforce) could be lost due to automation by 2035 alone. And the negative impacts of reduced face-to face interactions and hyper – connectivity are only just starting to be understood.

In order to understand and define the role of responsible business in this digital era, Business in the Community has launched a new programme combining thought with action to set a new agenda for UK businesses. The first report “A Brave New World?” in association with Accenture Strategy was launched in November 2016, to serve as a call to action for all UK businesses, NGO’s and policymakers to develop collaborative and innovative approaches to ensure everyone benefits from the opportunities provided by digital transformation.


Ten questions for business leaders

In this report, we posed 10 questions for business leaders to ask themselves, concerning how their organisations are approaching digital transformation.

  1. How does digital transformation impact the responsible business agenda, both in terms of new risks and opportunities?
  2.  What element of the digital revolution  do we want our brand to be known for championing, and how will we drive progress and communication on that?
  3.  What value is at risk if we do not achieve an inclusive digital revolution for the UK?
  4.  How will we change our governance and accountability structures to drive improved stakeholder trust in digital technologies across the business?
  5.  How can we deliver the right digital skills training across our workforce?
  6.  What spare capacity is there in our digital assets that we can helpfully share with local communities/SMEs?
  7.  How can our recruitment and training processes recognise and support non-traditional learning?
  8.  How can we use the data that we are already collecting (for example, customer data), to help adress specific societal changes?
  9.  How can we ensure that our products and services have a positive net impact on the environment?
  10.  How can we work more effectively with policy makers, industry peers and others in order to  address these challenges collaboratively?


Establishing the priorities

Stemming from the report, the Digital Priorities published in April 2017, define the areas businesses need to immediately focus on, in order to manage the unintended consequences of the digital era.


  Next steps

  1.  Download the report, A Brave New World? Why business must ensure an inclusive Digital Revolution
  2. Learn more about the Digital Priorities  and Download the Digital Priorities for Business, launched April 2017
  3. See examples of companies, already taking action on each of the priorities


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Priorities for responsible business in a digital age
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Key Contact: Catherine Phillips Senior Corporate Adviser Catherine.Phillips @bitc.org.uk

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