April 14, 2011

On becoming one of Vice President EU Commission's "Digital Angels": Education's role in "every European digital"

Young advisors

Twelve years after graduating in European Union Studies I finally made it to Brussels this week, as one of the EU Commission Vice President's "Digital Angels", advising on how she and her senior staff can help create a Europe of equal digital opportunity.

Across 27 member states, encompassing nearly 600m people, this is no small order. The debate rolled on for a whole day, with Vice President Neelie Kroes, who is also Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, staying with us and pushing us the entire morning, before her senior advisors dived into more detail with us in the afternoon.

I've described some of the outcomes of the day over on the company site. However, my most passionate interventions were, of course, around the role of education in providing the basis for

  • Berlaymont Building basic internet skills and a positive understanding and attitude towards privacy, public life and security;
  • the vital role of education in fostering a sense of curiosity amongst youngsters - and the adults who deal with them;
  • the need for increased professional development in how we move from an industrial revolution era of understanding about information, learning and organisation, to a 21st century understanding of flexibility, learning how not what;
  • the need to communicate with citizens in a language and in a (digital) space that they already inhabit, drawing on some of the phenomenal online success we've seen with the Scottish National Party's digital campaign, that we are helping to direct over at NoTosh.

Read more over on the company site, especially if you're interested in the intersection between education/schooling and the world of design and entrepreneurship.


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Congratulations on role of 'Digital Angel'. I can think of no one better. Well done putting across your key interventions. Any chance you can get an audience with Michael Gove?

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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