Readie was a European digital policy centre led by Nesta and co-funded by Google. The programme was set up as an alliance for research and policy into the digital economy in 2015. We promoted digital policies that benefit society and drive economic growth.
Mobile apps are helping monitor health, manage finances and navigate cities. Robots are supporting children in schools, providing companionship for the elderly, and performing surgery with more accuracy than humans. Self-driving cars are predicted to reduce road fatalities by 90%. Sharing economy platforms and online businesses are empowering people to earn extra income like never before.
European governments have established digital policy units to tackle these challenges unseen before. These teams, along with other agencies and businesses, are creating brand new policies and initiatives for the digital future. But it’s not easy to find existing case studies, examples of best practice and learn from what has worked – and what has not.
Readie brought European governments together to share digital policies and discuss new ideas. Specifically, we collaborated with policymakers and ministers that lead digital transformation programmes and develop digital economy policies.
We connected our policymaker network with industry experts, leading economists, researchers, and digital businesses to tackle current challenges and explore new ideas to harness the opportunities of digital transformation, such as:
Our areas of focus included digital skills, the future of work, disruptive businesses and the digitalisation of traditional industries. We helped policymakers make the most of Europe’s digital economy by:
In March 2016, the Research Summit brought together leading researchers, policy professionals and businesses with an interest in cutting-edge evidence, big data methods, entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth. Around 100 delegates had the unique opportunity to hear from leading thinkers about the key trends affecting Europe’s digital economy, explore new datasets and big data methods to analyse the digital economy in real-time, hear from funders about upcoming research priorities, network with businesses to explore partnerships that generate actionable evidence, and meet researchers from across Europe to forge new collaborations.
What can governments do to create a strong digital economy and ensure Europe is ‘future-proof’? To answer this, in October 2016, we brought together for the first time over 100 ministers, state secretaries, policy units and elected representatives from 23 countries who are shaping digitalisation strategies across Europe. We held this year’s Summit in Berlin, in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.
Digital skills and the future of work – London
In July 2017, Readie brought together a group of experts to explore which skills are considered ‘digital skills’ and how to prioritise the ‘most important’ ones for those in work, and make sure people have them.
Digital skills and the future of work – Stockholm
Over two days in Stockholm, Readie hosted a number of senior policymakers and stakeholders from across Europe to explore ‘digital skills in adults and the future of work’. Readie also published a highlights summary article following the event.
Through a combination of financial and in-kind support, other organisations have supported Readie’s events and activities, including NEMODE (funded by Research Councils UK), the University of Greenwich, the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, RKW Kompetenzzentrum, Tillväxtverket (the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth) and Vinnova (the Swedish innovation agency).
At the heart of Readie is a network of organisations working within the digital economy, from London School of Economics and Political Science to Poland’s DElab.
We carried out research and learning from our projects throughout our work on digital skills and policy. Our research was largely co-produced with our different funders and partners across Europe with the hope of encouraging the open collaboration needed for a fairer digital economy.
In 2016, we published Policymaking for the 21st century: How digital tools can help. This briefing provided an overview of how digital tools can transform the policy process to become more timely, inclusive, data-driven and user-focused.
In 2017, following our two international summits, we produced Digital Pulse: How ready is the UK for the digital life, followed by similar in depth studies on Germany and Sweden. Our research showed major differences in attitude to new technology across Europe, with Germans most sceptical and Bulgarians most positive about its impact.
Our final report Delivering digital skills, consisted of a guide to preparing the workforce for an inclusive digital economy. The guide shared nine steps to preparing the workforce for digital transformation, and 10 case studies that show skills provision in practice.
The learnings accumulated throughout Readie evolved into Digital Frontrunners, a collaborative programme to help senior policymakers create a more inclusive digital economy.