23rd British-Irish council discusses digital inclusion

The British-Irish Council (BIC) held its 23rd summit on Friday 28th November on the Isle of Man to discuss various issues regarding all participating states and create harmonious cooperation.

High on the agenda was the topic of digital inclusion across Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland and the islands of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

The Council discussed the benefits and increasing importance of digital participation in everyday life and reviewed audio visual material produced by the work sector as a collaborative effort to highlight these benefits.

Delegates were updated on examples of work under way in the different BIC jurisdictions to promote digital inclusion.

Nicola Sturgeon the representative for Scotland said that digital inclusion was at the “forefront of our agenda”, forming a major part of a government proposal programme.

The Council agreed the importance of ensuring everyone in their jurisdictions has the opportunity to share in the benefits of technology and the internet and of its potential contribution towards wider government policies, for example tackling issues like social isolation.

The Council agreed that officials in the BIC Digital Inclusion work sector should continue to collaborate on the common themes of “People, Partnerships and Policies” and investigate potential opportunities for research co-operation.

In addition, the 23rd summit was the first “e-summit” as the use of paper for delegates was replaced by tablet technologies.

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