Building the future we need - a levelled up economic recovery

This Friday 22 May, techUK together with Sage and Deloitte, will host the North East Digital Forum, the first 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.

This appreciative inquiry will pose a series of challenging questions addressing the digital strengths and weaknesses in the North East 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.



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 first forum will be focused on the North East (Newcastle) and will be followed by events in Scotland (Glasgow), the Midlands (Birmingham), the South West (Bristol), the North West (Manchester), Yorkshire (Leeds), Wales (Cardiff) and Northern Ireland (Belfast).  


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.


For further information please do reach out.

  • Simon Spier

    Simon Spier

    Head of UK Digital Strategy
    T 020 7331 2008
Buidling the future we need - Infographic (pdf)Building the future we need - Map (pdf)

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