Keynote Session: Fixing the digital divide in Greater Manchester and beyond

Thursday, April 22, 2021 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM
Culture Track
Keynote Session
Inclusivity & DiversityDigital Transformation


COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of digital and digital inclusion, it has widened the inequalities caused by digital exclusion, but is also acting as a catalyst, which is accelerating digital inclusion efforts. Digital Inclusion is fundamental to creating an equitable society, and digital is the great leveller.

In Greater Manchester, we want to create a truly "connected" city-region where everyone has equality of opportunity to access all that the region has to offer. We are known for our collaboration and that collaboration has enabled us to succeed and move at pace, digital inclusion is a global issue but great things happen when we work together!

This panel will discuss how the pandemic has been the catalyst for some of the fastest digital transformations ever seen, but that we must ensure our people remain at the heart of what we do. Citizens and businesses should be supported to overcome digital exclusion and we must ensure everyone has equality of access to services. Access to the digital world should be a basic human right, everyone whatever their age, location, or situation, should be able to benefit from the opportunities digital brings.


Greater Manchester Combined AuthorityGreater Manchester Combined Authority Virtual BoothIn Greater Manchester, we are doing digital differently.  We are committed to being a digital city-region that puts our residents at the heart of our plans and are working towards our ambitions to be recognised as a world leading digital city-region.     In 2020, Greater Manchester Combined Authority launched a new Digital Blueprint for the region, which sets out a three-year approach to meeting our ambitions for our city-region.   CALLING ALL BUSINESSES! GMdigital on Twitter: "☎️Calling all #DCF2021 attendees we need your help! 🗂️We want to understand what public sector information businesses want to see made more open & consistent. ❔What data would you like to see made more open in Greater Manchester? 💬Please provide any detail in the comments👇" / Twitter  Within the Greater Manchester Digital Blueprint we set out our digital priorities, which are clearly focused on delivering benefits that help our city-regions people lead healthier and happier lives. Each of our priorities – co-designed and developed with the input of key stakeholders - are supported by pan - Greater Manchester public sector projects. These combine with inclusive community, local authority, private, not-for-profit and academic work.   Our plan connects the wealth of digital change that’s going on, and will help us reach a shared ambition that underpins and enables both the Local Industrial Strategy and the Greater Manchester Strategy.  The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is made up of the ten Greater Manchester councils and Mayor, who work with other local services, businesses, communities and other partners to improve the city-region.