open a base in Stoke-on-Trent
To really deliver in a complex, disconnected UK, you need a base where you can access a flexible workforce with high-speed rail links back to Westminster and to other cities and where the issues of inclusion and exclusion really can be felt and engaged with. More reasons here: http://whitellama.blogspot.com/2009/05/many-reasons-why-director-of-digital.html
There is definitely a movement on the ground in Stoke which is using the digital network to generate collaboration and community spirit by localising what we do. By meeting and connecting through various local online communities, where we are then arranging big meet ups. For whatever reasons, groups are greeting online but then meeting in public. Well that's what happens here in Stoke... But we are a friendly lot anyway.
And all this in a place which is both rural & industrial, and has it's affluence and its deprivation and the place is sprawls with 6 epicenters which could all work as one super city, if it could be connected up. It's kind of happening already by the will of the people.
tom pine commented
Stoke-on-Trent is perhaps the only one of England's ten largest cities that offers genuine proof-of-concept potential for the idea that "digital engagement" can help to tackle tough social and economic challenges faced more unevenly elsewhere.
In a city where every electoral ward bar one is an area of multiple deprivation, digital engagement has a major role to play in reigniting this city as a uniquely creative and adaptive powerhouse.
Darren Roberts commented
Having looked at the various other areas around the UK as a comparison, Stoke-on-Trent has an amazing amount to offer. The travel network is excellent, and the property prices are at great rates too, both for purchase and for renting. The Potteries is surrounded by areas of outstanding beauty (the Roaches etc.), and community spirit is excellent. Pride in the city is superb. The ready workforce, with a history of world leading skills and capabilities, is at hand. It would be foolish to seriously consider anywhere else.
mark brereton commented
This is a great opportunity to research, develop and investigate digital engagement on the ground. With the city lost in translation across the six towns of Stoke-on-Trent I see a move to Stoke could only add to engage all things digital and enhance the disjointed communities across the local area and UK.
It would also contribute to the strength, idea and ethos of digital engagement working successfully in remotely or none London static bases.