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Building the Future We Need: West Midlands Digital Dialogue

techUK is hosting the second in a series of conversations across the UK to understand the local impact of COVID-19 and to think forward to the economic recovery that we...

Today, techUK, together with Deloitte and the West Midlands Combined Authority is hosting the West Midlands Digital Dialogue, the second in a series of conversations that are happening up and down the UK to understand the local impact of COVID-19 and to think forward to the economic recovery that we will need.

The event supported by BT, Cisco, Civica, Microsoft and Sage, will bring together (virtually) senior stakeholders in the West Midlands for an interactive conversation around a series of challenging questions addressing the digital strengths and weaknesses in the region and exploring what can be done to strengthen the digital performance and deliver better outcomes for people, society, the economy and planet at the local level. 

The session will be attended by high-level representatives from the region including Mayor Andy Street, as well as corporates, SMEs, Public/Private Sector initiatives, local government, trade associations, incubators, the chambers of commerce, legal and professional services, as well as representatives of universities and further education.

Using Deloitte’s Greenhouse technology we will explore the following questions:

  • What can we do to improve the prosperity of the region?
  • What are the specific problems for businesses/organisations and the West Midlands more generally as we start the recovery?
  • What are the big opportunities to recover and thrive?
  • What are the barriers and what could hold us back?
  • What key actions need to be taken forward and by whom?

The interactive conversation looks to identify tangible action items that can be taken forward by the community and policy recommendations that can help reduce barriers as well as utilize the West Midlands’ assets to support the region’s growth.


In the space of a few short months the COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world upside down. The economic impact has been immense and once we slowly emerge from the healthcare crisis we will face the equally daunting challenge of re-starting and rebuilding our economy.

Technology has played a vital role in keeping the country running since the UK went into lockdown. Organisations with true digital capabilities have been better able to weather the storm and digital infrastructure has been vital. It has allowed people to keep working, families to keep sharing and children to keep learning. But as we look forward to the future, digital technology needs to do so much more. It needs to drive the economic recovery across the UK and enable us to build the future we need.

To understand what that could mean from the ground up, techUK is launching an appreciative inquiry to talk to communities and businesses across the UK to understand how digital technology can help us build a better future. A future that serves the needs of people, society, economy and planet at the local level and an economic recovery that supports the levelling up of the UK economy.

By listening to local voices we hope to identify how solutions can be built to address local needs and how national policy can be reshaped to ensure that the whole of the UK can benefit equally as the economy becomes ever more digital.

Regional engagement focused on regional action

Working with our industry partners techUK will host a series of regional digital conversations, bringing together local business leaders and decision makers to explore how digital capabilities and capacity can be strengthened in the region to deliver better outcomes for people, society, the economy and the planet. These online events will utilise Deloitte’s ‘Virtual Greenhouse Technology’ to explore key themes and uncover local insights.

Utilising the findings from each digital forum techUK will work with participants to create a roadmap of tangible actions that can be delivered to support the economic recovery in each region. These will then be written up into a Regional Action Plan that captures requirements and recommendations for actions at the local level.

The digital dialogues will be focused on the following regions: North East, the Midlands, Scotland, the North West, Yorkshire and Humber, the South West, Wales, and Northern Ireland

Building a national picture

As the series of regional events progresses, techUK will start to build a national picture of what can be done to ensure that communities across the UK can be at the forefront of the digital recovery. techUK will build these insights into a report for policy makers and businesses at the national level focused on what needs to be done to secure a levelled-up recovery across the UK.


We anticipate that the campaign will provide insights into some of the big policy challenges and issues in the following areas:

  • Digital adoption and productivity
  • Skills
  • Infrastructure
  • Service transformation

The attached infographics provide further information on the Building the future we need initiative.

Should you have any questions about the Building the future we need initiative, please do get in touch.

Buidling The Future we Need – Infographic 17598 (PDF)

Building The Future we Need – Map 17598 (PDF)


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