Flip chart notes from the Unconf

These notes have been submitted to the main Unconference organisers for collation with the partner events around the UK. Feel free to continue developing these points in the comments.

General observations:

  • The report seems to be concerned with protecting existing businesses rather than encouraging new entrants to markets;
  • The report is focused on the needs of business not the needs of the public


  • ISP’s should see opportunities as well as threats
  • DAB – What standard? Report needs to be specific
  • Report should recognise that uploading is a majority activity e.g. flickr, facebook
  • Consumer rights need to be championed
    • tech that is good for consumers
    • The public are not CONSUMERS but PARTICIPANTS
    • Get people included in conversation, not just businesses
  • ISP’s should see opportunities as well as threats
  • Networks should be key in conversations about DIGITAL INCLUSION
  • Producers at grassroots need fast UPLOADS as well as downloads
    • Require ISPs to charge proportionally for up and down stream. Don’t penalise uploaders by charging them for fast uploads: this effects creative SMEs
    • Parity for urban and rural communities in connectivity – support for rural creative and cultural industries who need access to good network infrastructure
    • Web on TV especially in areas we can’t get networks to
  • Pre-empt demand for bandwidth
    • is 2Mbps really enough?
    • is 2Mbps a minimum, if so what should most of the country expect
    • how was the minimum chosen?


  • An overview of Birmingham & West Midlands
    • Lots of support activity from AWM, 4ip to accessible funds are good
    • WM are ahead of the game in terms of funds
    • The public support for creative & cultural and digital business in West Midlands attracts further investment (from private sector) and creative talent to the region
  • What sort of funds and investment?
    • Grants or investments?
    • is government looking to support for digital industry? Or creative industry? Or Cultural industries?
  • How do we help creativity (not just chasing funding)?
  • Government commitment to projects in digital content e.g. Wellness agenda – in establishing digital content, as key purchases of services
  • Universities need investment for knowledge transfer and research
  • Opportunities for Birmingham and West Midlands:
    • Longbridge as another digital cluster
    • Attract organisations like building societies who would bring infrastructure investment as well as jobs
  • IT businesses and their concerns are part of this discussion too


  • Its broken: Start from scratch
  • Some ideas for the carrot (encouraging legal behaviour) as well as the stick (policing IP)
  • Commitment to alternative models of IP within the discussion
  • Education for businesses not just consumers: they need to know opportunities not just threats from digital and its effect on IP
  • Copyright laws and rights agencies seem to be already moving ahead based on old models: how do we make them stop?
  • Free up old media products: media as culture. If content isn’t being used to generate revenue anymore, then it should be freely available
  • Some acknowledgment of consumers position not just media companies
  • What do artists/producers want? People to consume their products! They don’t want their audience to be criminalised
  • IP roles need to work for all types of media

Public Service/Broadcast production

  • Opportunity for independent producers
  • A clearer vision: Producers can’t see more than 12 months ahead, so show them there is a longer term strategy and get them to invest time in that
  • Independent producers should be more innovative in approach to IP and to co-working with both their peers and their audience
  • Clarity is needed as to what Public Service means in a digital age.
  • Ad inventory: why is this a problem?
    • In a free market new companies should be able to enter the market and sell advertising space
    • Concerns over ad inventory contradicts references to ensuring “competitiveness” in the report and seem protectionist
  • Ad models need to change: recognise Google as an innovator
  • Recognise small producers in these policies

Education & Skills

  • Links between industry and education: report asks what there should be – so what should there be?
  • Training vs. Education: training has limits education will produce flexible digital media literacy and workers.
  • Beyond online tutorials: proper education
  • Education for the cultural role of digital media, and for digital citizenship
  • Move the debate beyond business and technology
  • Open up general debates around role of digital media in society: more away from “facebook rots your brain” (Daily Mail) angle of mainstream media
  • Lets not throw away pedagogy it’s still education: don’t get distracted by the kit
  • Meaningful and accessible training for the kit that people have and use
  • Birmingham: we need to shout about what we do already.

Skills for delivery of public services and interface with government (?)

  • Talks about mechanics of e-government but not about underpinning ideas of citizenship, e-democracy
  • Define universal service provision – who for? – how does it work?
  • We need a digital media literacy not just the ability to use a computer
  • Education policies that work towards wider educational goals, that aren’t barriers to other learning.
  • Open access to internet in schools and public places NOT locked down
  • Government sees www as broadcast: government should open up information and let third parties utilise it
  • But we need a conversation about how transparency might work
  • Clear REWARD to encourage engagement otherwise people won’t be interested
  • Access to data encourages innovation and creativity

5 Responses to “Flip chart notes from the Unconf”

  1. 1 iconpartnership May 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    The building societies example – investment in infrastructure- was to illustrate how mutual ownership of next generation broadband networks could be achieved.
    There are several community broadband initiatives, example
    Next gen can be financed by a combination of public, venture capital and mutual funding.

  2. 2 digitalconsultant May 14, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Good stuff – interesting new raised a lot of the same issues as our Nottingham Unconference – naely that the report should be addressing needs of smaller business and the community, not just corporates, and we need a more ambitious target for both up and download speed connectivity nationally for Britain to stay competitiive.

    Here’s out bits here:

  3. 3 http://comment-maigrir-cuisses.blogspot.com August 8, 2013 at 4:17 am

    I constantly spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s articles daily along with a mug of coffee.

  4. 4 Progress Consulting January 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm

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  1. 1 MediaCamp and Digital Britain Unconference Nottingham 9th May 2009: Collective Memory « Digital Consultant: Creative + Digital Dialogues Trackback on May 14, 2009 at 11:18 am

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