I spend an enjoyable but exhausting couple of days in Bath last week, at the ‘sandpit’ brainstorming session which distributed a modest chunk of UK government academic funding to projects working on ‘Bridging the Global Digital Divide’.
It was a great experience – meeting some wonderful people with whom I had much too little time to chat – and I came away pretty impressed by the overall process. Getting 30 academics to agree on anything is a well-nigh impossible goal, and these ones came from a wide variety of disciplines and from institutions around the country and around the world. Amazingly, we managed to come up with what I think will be four interesting and valuable projects and divide the money between them in a way that seemed to meet with general approval. Bill Thompson was there and has a nice write-up. Kudos to Alan Blackwell and all of the others involved in making it happen.