Government leadership on New Zealand’s digital transformation has taken another step forward with the creation of the Digital Council for Aotearoa New Zealand. The Digital Council is an independent advisory group convened by the Minister for Government Digital Services and the Minister of Statistics. It is tasked with maximising the societal benefits of digital and data driven technologies. Read the announcement here – this page also contains a brief bio on the seven experts making up the Council.
This Digital Council will provide a great resource to Ministers dealing with the complex implications of emerging technologies on our society. The societal aspects the Council will be focusing on include equality, well being, inclusivity and community resilience. It is an important step forward for government strategy on digital transformation – looking beyond innovation in the delivery of the public service to the impact on society as a whole, especially those individuals or communities vulnerable to missing out on the benefits of digital technology.
Aside from our own personal observations as to how technology is changing our lives, it is important for planners to understand these changes on a community and society basis given the nature of our work. Even if we don’t personally engage heavily in emerging technologies, these technologies are bringing fundamental changes in our communities. Understanding the context and complexities of this change is vital to assessing social impacts in our planning work. To find out more check out my course run through NZPI CPD – Planning Practice and Ethics in the Digital Age.
Initiatives such as the Digital Council are going to equip us with insights into these changes and how government is going to respond. Let’s watch with interest.