Surrey Business School’s CoDE (Centre for the Digital Economy) team were thrilled to be a part of the launch recently of ‘Distributed Ledger Technologies for the Public Sector: Leadership, Collaboration and Innovation’ hosted at the House of Lords by Lord Holmes of Richmond, an inspiring advocate for the immense potential of DLT to address intractable challenges in both private and public sectors.
This report is in fact a follow-on from the groundbreaking Walport Report ‘Distributed Ledger Technology: Beyond blockchain’ — a continuation of that conversation, a reinforcement of the message, and a renewed call to action. As Lord Holmes explained, ‘We are here to put some increased energy, focus and collaboration around the potential of DLT.’
CoDE’s Dr Phil Godsiff, a contributor (through the Whitechapel Think Tank) to this latest report as well as to the original Walport Report, was in attendance along with Dr Beth Kewell, Mike Brookbanks and Michelle Nsanzumuco – all of whom have been integral to the exploration of blockchain and DLT in research at CoDE and the wider Surrey Business School.
Phil’s contribution to the body of DLT knowledge has encompassed conferences, articles, blogs and panels; he is an unbiased ambassador for furthering this exploration and discovering DLT’s true place in harnessing the ‘wicked problems’of life in a complicated digital world.
To quote from the foreword, ‘This [new] report seeks to re-energise and refocus UK government attention on DLT’s potential so that we can accelerate our own digital maturity, enhance the productive capacity of our business and benefit our citizens.’ The report goes on to present key recommendations, and to discuss the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats around DLT across a number of sectors – crime, border control, taxation and health among them.
In the end, ‘[c]learly DLT is not a silver bullet….[I]t is, however, a new multipurpose technology in the digital information toolbox, and one that is gaining a degree of traction across industries and business processes.’
Jeremy Wilson, chair of the Whitechapel Think Tank, which sponsored the report, agreed with this view: ‘As part of the 4thIndustrial Revolution, no one can escape DLT….it is one of a number of technologies converging into a new operating system on the basis of data sharing, with all the implications and ramifications that suggests.’