A message from FutureDotNow CEO, Liz Williams MBE

I hope you’ve had an enjoyable summer and a chance to recharge your batteries. At FutureDotNow we’re fast approaching our end of year and focusing on delivery priorities for 2021/22, our third year of action.

We’ve got some important diary dates for you on the horizon, not least Thursday 4th November when we’ll host our Autumn event, FutureDotNow: Collective action for a changing world. Keep an eye on your inbox for more information, including your personal invite, and please do save the date.

Next Friday (24th September), Lloyds Bank will launch the 2021 Essential Digital Skills report, building on the findings from the Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index published earlier this year. It’s an important data set. Whilst I’m sure we’ll see progress, will it be proportionate to the role digital now plays in the fabric of how we work, live and play today? It should be a great morning of insight and discussion, do sign up via Eventbrite.

We enjoyed connecting with so many of you over the summer; hearing about your progress, the challenges you’re facing, alongside your thoughts and ideas for how FutureDotNow could help you power up your activity. There was a strong theme around wanting more opportunities to collaborate and learn from each other, so expect to see much more in that vein in the year ahead. We’ll share some initial plans at FutureDotNow: Collective action for a changing world.

As we enter Autumn, why not take a few minutes to reconnect with the ambition outlined in your FutureDotNow pledge? Think about the actions you have taken and the plans you have for the coming year, as we work together to make sure everyone has the essential digital skills they need for life and work.

New members

Our coalition now stands at 160 – welcome to our new members!

Thames Water

The UK’s biggest water and sewerage company with around 15 million customers across London and the Thames Valley.

AND Digital

A technology organisation that creates digital products that help their clients accelerate their digital capabilities.


A software provider that powers your on-line fundraising.

01 Founders

A software engineering school, training students from zero digital skills to high-end full stack engineers in two years.

Hull and East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership

The Hull & East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (HEY LEP) is responsible for leading economic growth across the region.

Citizens Advice – Manchester

A service supporting people across Manchester with confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.


A Fintech charity providing micro-donation solutions

How’s that pledge?

Over the summer we connected with many of our members, to both understand the progress you have made against your FutureDotNow pledge, and how FutureDotNow can support you over the next year to accelerate activity.

Almost 90% reported that digital skills were a current business priority. We were genuinely delighted that almost every organisation we spoke to was now aware of the Essential Digital Skill (EDS) framework, although just under 50% of you are actively using it to inform your programmes. Almost three quarters (72%) of you said your organisation was delivering digital skills training, but this number dropped to 39% when specifically looking at the basic skills in the EDS framework. And over a quarter of you said you were still early in your processes, evaluating your starting point.

You also told us that you wanted more opportunities to collaborate across the coalition, and we’re busy working to deliver this. We’ll outline more at our Autumn event, mentioned above.

But don’t wait till then, why not take a moment now to reflect on your pledge commitments and the progress you are making. Consider what actions you’re taking to:

  • Empower your workforce
  • Build the capability of others
  • Collaborate and share
  • Play and active part in the movement

On Friday 24 September 11.30 – 12.30, Lloyds Bank will launch the 2021 Essential Digital Skills report at a free virtual event. This benchmark report, produced on behalf of the Department for Education, informs government strategy and drives funding from departments such as DfE, DCMS and BEIS.

Last year the findings provided a snapshot of the UK’s digital skills before the UK national lockdown. This year’s measure of the UK’s Essential Digital Skills Framework will build on the findings from the Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index published earlier this year.

Discover how the pandemic has impacted not just the fundamental tasks needed to access the online world, but the digital skills needed to succeed in everyday life and the workplace.

Places are limited so make sure you’ve booked your place via Eventbrite.

Bingeworthy content – FutureDotNow’s YouTube Channel

Did you miss one of our events this year? No problem, we’ve recorded them all so you can watch them and catch up on all the great discussions and insight. Check out the FutureDotNow YouTube channel.

Highlights include:

  • All the great content from our FutureDotNow Fest back in May: ?hear from leaders across the UK nations reflecting on their digital skills strategies
    • listen to Katz Kiely, Founder and CEO of Beep.com, talking about how we should all be more octopus
    • learn what essential digital skills did for Samit Saini’s career, and the impact this had for Heathrow
  • July’s FutureDotNow Meet discussion – ‘A catch 22, young people and essential digital skills’
  • June’s Meet – ‘The digital future of work’

Why not subscribe and click the notification bell to be alerted to new content as soon as it’s uploaded?

Future Talent

We were thrilled to work with 60 interns from FutureDotNow Board member Accenture this summer. We set them 4 strategic challenges, focused on how FutureDotNow operates and delivers service to the coalition.

We gained some brilliant new perspectives on how to work with businesses to address the Essential Digital Skills gap. For the interns, this was an opportunity to work with a client (us!) on real life challenges facing a business, gaining experience in client consultation, collaborative problem solving, design thinking, and so much more.

A massive thank you to Accenture and all the interns, it was a pleasure working with you!

Exclusively for members

Autumn event – FutureDotNow: Collective action for a changing world

Keep an eye on your inbox! We’re inviting all member organisations to our Autumn event, taking place on Thursday 4th November 10:00 – 11:00.

On the day we will be:

  • launching our 2020-21 Annual Review
  • highlighting the impact of the coalition over the last 12 months
  • outlining new data on essential digital skills (EDS), and how this informs our actions as a coalition
  • showcasing some exciting projects and opportunities for you to collaborate across our network over the coming year

Future of Work 2021 Conference: bag your FREE place

We’ve partnered with Chatham House to give FutureDotNow members complimentary access to their Future of Work 2021 online conference.

Taking place online from 7-8th October, the conference will welcome an international audience of policymakers, senior business leaders and labour market experts, including our very own Liz Williams!

Also appearing:

  • Allen Blue, Co-Founder and VP Product Management, LinkedIn
  • Matthew Brittin, President, Business and Operations, Google, EME
  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Corinne Delechat, African Division Chief, International Monetary Fund
  • Patrick Hull, Vice President, Future of Work, Unilever

Over the course of the two days, discussion will explore the trends transforming the nature of work, with a focus on skills, resiliency, and adaptability.

Keep an eye on your inbox, we’ll be sending your personal invitation to sign up shortly!

If you’re not yet a member of FutureDotNow, you can make the pledge today. Find out more.

Find the right tool for the job

Coalition member, Barefoot eLearning is launching its new online video-based Essential Digital Skills courses. Approved by TLM for funded Essential Digital Skills Qualification (EDSQ) delivery through any EDSQ-approved Awarding Organisation, these eLearning courses prepare individuals for the Entry and Level 1 EDSQ exams. The course platform also offers a complete learning management platform. A SCORM version, allowing members to host content in their own learning management platform, will also be available where required. Discover more or sign up for a free trial here.

Check out more learning resources offered by members in the FutureDotNow Directory.

Keep the conversation going

This is your coalition and we want to make sure that you are getting the most out of it.

Don’t forget to follow us and share our content on Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback please do send it to [email protected] and we will get back to you.

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