The Next Leap


Options for Government Action

with 3 comments

First, the time has come to create a national mission statement that reflects Ireland’s intention to transition to an economy and society that can prosper in the digital era. If ambitiously drafted, this mission statement would reflect not only on the Ireland of 2010 but also the Ireland of 2020 and of 2040. By taking a direct interest in drafting this statement, and by consulting relevant stakeholders on its content, the Taoiseach could send an international signal of Ireland’s intention to re-emerge as a key player in the international digital sector. A first step in this respect could be to host a gala of international digital gurus who would be invited to advise on the national mission statement.

Second, to provide leadership and coordination in support of Ireland’s mission to create and pursue a national digital strategy, the following two options could be considered:

  1. Establish a dedicated department, similar to the UK Ministry of Culture, Media [and Sport], which would, in effect, provide digital town planning. A first step could be to commission an assessment of whether the proposed department might represent a cost-effective consolidation of the existing array of State entities active in the area. This department would have two pivotal roles in driving Ireland’s digital future. First, it would be tasked with ensuring a whole of government approach, and the tighter coordination of relevant departments, bodies and agencies (including the Department of Education, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Science Foundation Ireland, the National Digital Research Council, the Industrial Development Agency, Enterprise Ireland, FÁS, and the Irish Creative Media Board (proposed in trend 4, above). Second, it would provide leadership in driving and reframing the national strategy on Ireland’s digital future, and in elevating Ireland’s international profile as a committed and innovative information society.
  1. Alternatively, a dedicated “national digital strategy unit” could be established in DCENR to aggressively pursue the whole of government approach. This unit, with Cabinet consent, could source and resolve impediments to the successful delivery of a national digital strategy wherever they arise. The unit could avail of seconded senior personnel from other government departments and agencies, and would be equipped to convene high-level stakeholder meetings of industry, policy makers and researchers, and to investigate evolving strategy in specific areas of the national digital strategy with the benefit of private sector participation.

Written by johnnyryan

13/12/2008 at 02:01

3 Responses

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  1. A mission statment, sure, with some real timeplans.

    On the rest, a firm NO to idea 1, a recipe for mess.

    But idea 2 could work, linking all the other mentioned groups.

    R Almatev

    18/12/2008 at 23:16

  2. A mission statement is no harm, but does not do anything either. What’s next is the key. And I would avoid reaching too far, this only encourages content- and commitment-free speculation.

    I do not favour another government department, and I think this would not work well. Conflict would be inherent. But a truly strong inter-departmental unit, based in either Finance or Taoiseach, that could do it. I’d go for Finance.

    And now I shall read back over all, including my and others’ comments, and come back to comment on the final list, and make some conclusion of my own.

    J Doyle

    20/12/2008 at 12:01

  3. This report hit the policy community just as a new set of economic requirements began to constrain its freedom of action. Despite this, some if not all of the measures in this report are in train, or in prospect.

    Nonetheless, an updated Next Leap 2 is required. Together with the Irish Growth Alliance . More anon… (first I have to get this book on the history of the Internet finished by 15th Sept)


    19/08/2009 at 00:10

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