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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Blog calls for 'digital UK' ideas
The think tank wants people to contribute their ideas
A UK think tank is calling for the public to submit ideas on how digital technologies, especially the net, can improve life in Britain for everyone.

The online consultation, taking the form of a weblog to which anyone can post comments, will pose several key policy questions over the next month.

The responses will be part of the Institute of Public Policy Research's (IPPR) Manifesto for a Digital Britain.

Launching in July, it will inform ideas about Britain's digital policy.

The government and other public bodies are keen to make as much use of technology as possible to "re-connect" with people, and to make sure people's lives in all areas of life are improved.

Now is the time to invite views on where things are currently going wrong
Will Davies, IPPR
Last week, the government unveiled a separate seven-point plan to get more people on the net, and so closing the "digital divide".

One of the projects proposed in the plan will see a "digital challenge" prize awarded to the local authority which best shows how the net changes the way it works with people.

'Going wrong'

"We hear too much from the futurists and technology experts," said Will Davies, senior research fellow at the independent public policy research body, the IPPR.

"Successful technology strategies depend on listening to the public and those who have to use new tools on a day-to-day basis."

People on the street as well as those deciding on policy lack confidence in technologies like the net to help improve the country's competitiveness and people's quality of life, he added.

"Now is the time to invite views on where things are currently going wrong, and what sorts of policy interventions might support a more effective modernisation programme."

The questions posed on the weblog will ask for opinion on how the UK can get better at e-government, and e-politics.

Another will ask how technology can make work life better and more flexible, and whether the government should do more to support teleworking.

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