Ensuring an inclusive digital revolution: The priorities and actions for business

Business in the Community outlines the new priorities and actions for responsible business in a digital age as part of Responsible Business Week (24-28 April)

Business leaders from across Northern Ireland gathered at Victoria Square this morning to explore the challenges and opportunities for responsible business in a digital era.

The event, hosted by Business in the Community, coincided with Responsible Business Week (#RBweek) which is supported by SPAR. This annual awareness week for responsible business this year focuses on what it means to be a responsible business in a digital era, while continuing to champion responsible business, and encourage organisations to use the week as a platform to share the good work they do throughout the year.

A number of new pieces of research were launched at the event including a report on The State of Responsible Business in Northern Ireland and a new research paper A Brave New World? Priorities and Actions for an Inclusive Digital Revolution, which has been developed by Business in the Community in collaboration with Accenture Strategy. This defines the key priorities for responsible business in a digital age to help ensure an inclusive digital revolution. These are:

  1. Protect, support and empower customers
  2. Embrace the changing nature of work
  3. Deliver innovative products and services that serve society
  4. Drive a transparent, inclusive and productive value chain

Kieran Harding, Managing Director, Business in the Community NI adds: “Technology has revolutionised the way we live, work and socialise. While many opportunities have arisen from the digital revolution, it also presents business with a number of challenges that must be addressed. Digital technologies could help provide better access to education for 450 million people worldwide but, in contrast, research also suggests that there could be as many as 10 million job losses due to automation by 2035**.

“The value delivered by digital transformation will not be sustained unless a number of key challenges are addressed and so, we’re are delighted to introduce these new priorities for responsible business in a digital age. Northern Ireland is not immune to the pace of digital change, and is already extremely active as a digital development hub. At Business in the Community, we are already working with businesses and government through our Digital Assist programme to look at the impact of the digital world both in business and in our communities. We are calling on the business community to embrace each of the four priorities, and take action to help secure an inclusive digital revolution.”

To download a copy of A Brave New World? Priorities and Actions for an Inclusive Digital Revolution, or to find out more about Responsible Business Week, visit www.bitcni.org.uk/rbweek. You can also search for the hashtag #RBweek on Twitter to join the conversation.