Disappearing up your digital ass

Thanks to my fab friend Steve Moore, I sneaked into the Reboot Britain conference last week. To cut a long story short, the premise was along the lines of ‘we’re all screwed up – economically, politically etc – what we gonna do about it’, focusing on digital means of mending our broken society.

MPs, journos, activists, corporate folk, entrepreneurs and all sorts were there. There was a sniff of revolution in the air… BUT… what’s with the incessant harping on about ‘Digital’? Digital revolution. Digital age. Digital solutions. Come on guys… get with the program. Yes, you can and should stream MP’s debates live over the net; yes, you can and should use twitter if you find it useful; but all that is a given. It has been a given for ages. Get over it. Quit the reframing, accept the now and take some action. LIVE ACTION.

Witnessing the clamoring awe surrounding digital, as if it were a tangible entity and lifeforce, is a bit like watching your dad dancing. My outrage culminated in a posh panelist shouting ‘tweet that on the hash tag’. Er… yeah man.

There’s a distinct danger of increasing numbers of folk (often those who’ve had an epiphany while reading Wikinomics or Here’s Comes Everybody) disappearing up their own digital asses. Don’t get me wrong, those books are fab, but borrowing catchphrases and concepts without changing behaviour is futile.

Let’s stop talking about as if there’s a divide between digital and non-digital. Let’s stop focusing on technology. It’s about PEOPLE. What are people going to do to make things better. What can we each, as individuals, do RIGHT NOW that’ll have a micro or macro impact on the world and others around us.

If there’s one thing I hope everyone takes away from Reboot Britain, it’s that whatever you do, don’t wait around for institutions to change things. Start. Now.

Knock on every door on your street and ask your neighbours if they’ve ever thought how bonkers it is that there are 40 lawns and 40 lawnmowers… then set up a lawnmower sharing club. Start a global tribe of like-minded passionistas around something that matters. Fed up with a crappy council service? Crowd-source an alternative. Chip in and take it upon yourself. The technology is a given.

If you’re stuck, ask your kids.

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