Can technology transform the political process and make the UK a truly digital democracy? At Doteveryone, we believe it can. We want to see how technology can overhaul our rooted-in-tradition political system and break down the barriers that separate 'everyone' from our elected officials.
Digital skills for everyone at every level will help create a society where we can all benefit from what the internet can offer. From finding out further information on key social issues, accessing public services or looking up the location of our polling station, the internet is a vital tool in our everyday lives.
But there are currently over 12 million adults in the UK who lack the basic digital skills needed to play an active role in civil society. And it's a double-edged sword. Universal basic digital skills are just the start of the digital skills crisis in the UK. Our public service and leadership also needs to be fit for a digital age. We don't all need to code, but our leaders need to understand how to harness the potential of the internet - for the benefit everyone as well as the economy.
This month we are tackling this problem head on. Doteveryone is at the beginning of its ambitious journey to help MPs, their offices and their constituents embrace the opportunities that technology can bring.
We've launched a pilot project where we're matching a team of digital mentors with a group of MPs in a collective quest for technological change. Embedded within the House of Commons and the parliamentary process, our four mentors will work with four MPs to develop their technological skills for the common good.
The use of software, social media and tech techniques will all be scrutinized, with our mentors identifying practical possibilities where technology can be a catalyst in our democratic process. They'll be looking for opportunities where digital can play a leading role in affecting the culture of Parliament and the interaction between citizens and our decision makers.
Perhaps technology can be helped to provide constituents with a better understanding of the UK's legislative process and improve their experience with Parliament. Maybe the Internet can be used more efficiently to help MPs communicate better with their electorate whilst developing skills for both parties. Whatever the outcome, our mentors will be working hard to improve the channels of communication between MPs, constituents and our wider democratic society.
Finding out how they see and interact with their constituents through digital is just a part of the puzzle. Doteveryone and our team of mentors are keen to see if our work can be undertaken across other strands of British society, breaking down barriers between the public and the decision makers.
We want to help end the digital skills crisis in the UK, using the tools and creativity at our
disposal to make the UK a digitally inclusive society. Putting power in the hands of our citizens, collaboration can exert change over our institutions and the people that we place there.
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