Reflections from a Civic Leader:
We live in a world of change. Many of the changes are driven by technology. It is in society’s interest that we embrace technology and shape the future of our city in a way that improves quality of life for citizens and creates opportunity through job creation.
Dublin City Council and successive Lord Mayors have worked for some time to deliver a smart economy and smart society in our capital city under the guidance of the Creative Dublin Alliance. We have worked with our sister Local Authorities to extend and achieve these goals across the Dublin Region. The Innovation Dublin Festival has showcased the range of innovation in business, in colleges, and in communities throughout our city. Dublin is an Open City, welcoming and embracing individuals of different nationalities and cultures. Openness to new people and new ideas is an essential pre-requisite of innovation.
Much of the contemporary innovation in our city is technology-reliant. This is why we talk of shaping our digital future, one where digital technologies are used to improve the way we live, work, connect with and enjoy Dublin.
The Digital Masterplan for Dublin is designed to be a roadmap that will help us shape that digital future. It is designed with an inherent flexibility to allow us to change direction, constantly rethinking our journey towards the ultimate Digital City. It sets out a framework for action that can help city leaders prioritise the use of scarce resources. At the heart of all our action is a collective willingness to collaborate with business, higher education and citizens. That collaboration must extend beyond the Dublin region and go global. That is why we envisage building a Digital Cities Network that expands the relationships we have developed with progressive cities through our International work.
The collaboration has already started with the Digital Dublin Leadership Forum. I warmly acknowledge the wisdom, energy, innovation and commitment of the members of the Forum in shaping this Masterplan. The Forum is a unique gathering of business, education, statutory agencies, citizens and local government. They are champions of the Digital Agenda in Dublin.
We launch this Masterplan as Dublin welcomes technology leaders, policy makers and activists from throughout Europe to a Digital Assembly under the Irish EU Presidency. European institutions have a key role to play in pushing the frontiers of research and establishing a progressive legal and regulatory framework for a digital society and economy. Irish National Government equally must address critical issues of regulation, policy and funding around the challenges of digital society and economy.
This document presents challenges. It challenges national government and local government to keep Dublin ahead of the curve in moving towards a digital future. It challenges business and education to create the eco system in which innovation can thrive. It challenges citizens to participate more fully in our democracy using digital technology. It is a roadmap that can only be realised when we act, individually and collectively.