Episode Sixty-Eight: The Digital Generation

The Adoption Of A Digital Identity

Be ambitious, be bold. My experience of watching people develop in business careers over the last 30 years is that the thing that holds most people back is not their ability, it is their ambition.

In this episode of The Power of Data Podcast, Bob Wigley, Chair at UK Finance shares his views on the Khalifa Fintech Review, the opportunities a National EiD would bring, and the insurmountable impact technology is having on the next generation on their development and relationships.

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(Please note that this podcast was recorded remotely.)


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The Power of Data Podcast

Episode 68: The Digital Generation

Guest: Bob Wigley, Chair, UK Finance
Interviewer: Sam Tidswell-Norrish, Advisor, Dun & Bradstreet

Sam 00:00
Hi, welcome back to The Power of Data Podcast, today is a serendipitously timed day. And I am delighted to be welcomed back by Bob Wigley, Chair at UK finance amongst many other things, and also, recent author. It's great to have you back on the podcast Bob, how are you?

Bob 00:18
I'm really well, Sam, and thank you very much for having me.

Sam 00:20
It's really my pleasure. And I don't think we actually meant to time it on the 12th of March 2021. But today, the World Wide Web turns 32. And as you know, my involvement with the World Wide Web foundation is an area of real passion for me. And I'm really excited about talking today about your recently launched book, Born Digital, the story of a distracted generation. But we're going to come to that in just a moment. Because while I've got your brain and thoughts on our podcast, there's been a couple of things in the industry that I'm really keen to ask you about. And you've been a leader in the financial technology sector in the UK and a core component of the UK’s FinTech agenda for many, many years. And recently, in 2020, the Chancellor asked Ron Khalifa, who was the man responsible for spinning out WorldPay was the CEO and subsequently Vice Chairman and a dear mentor of mine to conduct an independent review to identify priority areas to support the UK FinTech sector. The Khalifa FinTech review, as it was coined, has now been published. And it revealed that the UK currently accounts for around 10% of global FinTech revenues, which is well, truly impressive numbers and great to see the UK continuing to punch above its weight in this important area. Thinking about its recommendations on how to push the sector forwards and keep progressing, as the Chair of UK finance. I am really keen. And I know our listeners will be to hear your take on it. Was it ambitious enough? And what do you think the next steps are likely to yield?

Bob 01:55
Really good question. So first of all, I share your respect for and admiration of Ron, and I think the Chancellor picking someone like him to lead this review is really important. And the report is, I think very high quality. We at UK Finance worked closely with Ron, you probably know he's an ex UK Finance board member. And I participated in one of the five groups, particularly on international benchmarking comparisons, which I'll talk about in a minute. So I think the report is ambitious. And as you know, it made recommendations in five key areas. So getting our policy and regulation right, it's already good, but there are still things we can do to make it better. Around skills, and that's partly around immigration and the need to bring in talent on a regular basis in an easy way. And as you know, the Chancellor has already addressed that in the budget with new visas for tech companies, including FinTech companies. Investment, and here the issue really is scaling. And we were very good at getting money into FinTech companies in the UK. One of the stats that I also loved in the report was that 71% of UK consumers are now using a service that's provided by at least one FinTech company. But our issue has been scaling. So I think his recommendation around implementing a scale box, which would help us take some of our nascent companies and turn them into sunicorns or unicorns was one of his most important and we're looking forward to working with him on that. Internationally, I think the key thing is to make sure and this was our recommendation. And it's been adopted, that there's an annual benchmarking. Having written three reports for government myself in different conditions. You know, I know that it's all very well writing the report, and there's big fanfare when it comes out. But actually, what matters is implementing the recommendations. So one of the things we were keen to see was that every year, the Treasury would benchmark the UK’s offering for FinTechs against our now very strong competition in places like Stockholm, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Madrid, and down in Portugal in Lisbon, to make sure that whether it comes to making office space available at the right scale, and at the right price, whether it be visas, whether it be investment, whether it be tax incentives, or whether it be government policy and regulatory accommodation that we are absolutely in the top quarter of offering. So I was very pleased to see that recommendation come through. And then his final area, of course, was around national connectivity, recognizing that FinTech is not a London phenomenon. It's very much all over the UK, in all the regions and in the big financial centers outside London within England. So I'm very pleased with the report. I think it's gonna have a big impact and I hope the FinTech sector feels likewise.

Sam 04:27
Well firstly, thank you for a very succinct summary and knowing how intimately involved you were in it is what firstly, reassuring, but I'd also like to dig into the area of data, unsurprisingly. And a key theme from the report was the importance of harnessing data. How would implementing a data strategy as part of its digital finance package help support the UK finance industry, do you think Bob?

Bob 04:51
So I think the big first opportunity is a National EiD - digital identity program. And the financial services industry has had one or two goes at this. The government has had go of your recall, they founded something called Gov.verify, which has sort of gone through various iterations. It actually had a bit of a renaissance during COVID, because I think it was used to implement Universal Credit. And that involved several million new people subscribing for EiD’s through Gov.verify. But the reason this is such a big deal is really because it can lead to very significant improvements in customer service. And in cost savings. If you think around the process of onboarding clients to banks in the know your client process where you have to provide utility bills and passports, customers find it all quite irritating, it is time consuming, and it's very expensive. And the truth is that it doesn't always prevent fraud, it's actually not that hard to get a utility bill for a property you don't live in, sadly. So I'm very keen, it's a personal passion of mine, actually, that we forge forward on creating an EID system for the UK. Now, it's politically sensitive, because you know, we have this aversion in this country, which I personally don't understand but we do, to identity cards. So this is not that just to be clear, it is electronic identity. But you know, let's look at this leading beacon of the world on this, I think Estonia now has its entire population, which admittedly is smaller than ours – on EID. And if you go to Estonia and go to their e Government Center, they demonstrate to you how much cost they've taken out of central government by doing this, so that every time you deal with the government through the government portal, you're using your EID. So you don't need to re identify yourself every time. It also has big advantages around privacy and transparency about who in government is looking at your data. Because obviously, once you have any EID system, and the government can link together your various government records in different departments, there is a concern amongst the public about privacy. And Estonia has probably got the best blockchain application in the world that I've seen at scale. And when I went to the Government Center, most recently, the man who runs it was showing me his own e-government portal. Basically, you would go on Sam, as he did sign in under your EID, and there on a blockchain record is a record of every time anybody in the government has looked at your data. They have to do that with their EID, so not only do we know that someone in government is looking at your data, but we know who it is. And they have to log why they've looked at your data. And the system automatically records what data they actually accessed. So he was able to go on to his record and point up the record and say to me, look, there's me being stopped for speeding two weeks ago, that's the police checking my driving license. There's me making a hospital appointment four weeks ago, further up is me paying my TV license. And he looked through it and said, look, I'm very happy with all that I can see what the government is doing. And why is that such a good blockchain application? Well, it builds on the things that blockchain is so good at, you know, it's immutable, it can't be erased, it's there for you to see. But it also enables you to access it privately, so that you're the only person that can see all the people in government who've been accessing your data. Now, I'm not suggesting that we're going to go that far. But if we could just get to a basically EID system in the UK, I think it could reduce costs for the financial services sector and much improved customer service, not just for the financial services sector, but for anybody who has to do identities that would include lawyers, accountants, estate agents, and of course, government departments, whether it be the NHS, demand for Work and Pensions. I think the saving was they reckon between two and 3% of GDP and government costs. So you know, it'll take time, but that's something I'm really keen to work on. UK Finance has set up a task force, we're working jointly and closely with DCMS who have a much rejuvenated interest in this subject, though, as you know, putting together now trust framework. And out there in the community there are FinTech companies that are building applications, which will feed into any EID program. So I'm very excited about that.

Sam 08:47
Fantastic and talking of nations that have done this at scale, I think in, it must have been 2000, probably 2009, I think it was around the crisis, India launched their scheme. And I know that as of last year, nearly the entire population were enrolled, close to 1.3 billion people.

Bob 09:04
Yes, fabulous. And actually, what's interesting about it in India were of course, part of the purpose was to stamp out black economy. And this is another thing I think the government should be bearing in mind. Because if you can make it more difficult for criminals, I'm sure we're going to come to economic crime again later. But we can make it more difficult for criminals to transfer money around without being identified, it brings more of the economy into the tax system, and therefore tax rates can be lowered. So there are big advantages here.

Sam 09:31
You spoke about financial crime. Last time you joined us on this podcast, that's exactly what we spoke about from fraud and money laundering and how Brexit could potentially be an opportunity for that. And then we spoke about the impact of tech on the next generation. And I mentioned at the start, you've recently published a book all about the next generation, called Born Digital. Firstly, a huge, huge congratulations because having read the book, it's taken some time I can imagine.

Bob 09:57
it has taken a long time, but it She came from - well, I've been thinking about the idea for about a year. And I will explain in a minute how I got some material for it. The actual impetus to really start writing came on the second day of lockdown one, when my wife and I were sitting in our kitchen in the country, and she said, if you think you're staying here for the next three months, you got another thing coming, you better go and find somewhere else to work. So I was sort of ceremoniously kicked out and went into the dining room stared at the wall for half an hour and thought I need a project. And that was it. Really, I thought, okay, this is if you're ever going to write a book, lockdown is the time to do it. So off I went.

Sam 10:30
Fantastic. Well, it's definitely a lockdown success story. And early on in the book, you talk about the fact that you actually went out and met over the past few years, with hundreds of young women and men. And it sounds like there were some quite emotional connections. Did they form the foundations of research for this project?

Bob 10:50
Yes. So it was really two things. I mean, one, one is watching my own three adolescent children growing up with technology, observing the way that it affected the way their sort of personalities developed, and the way they saw the world and use technology and, and realising how different that is from my generation. And this is not an incremental change. It's a massive change. And I wanted to try and piece that together and understand it more. So two years ago, I adopted a new year's resolution to meet the new Gen Z entrepreneur every day, every business day for two years. So I've now met about 200. And I'd meet them at nine o'clock in the morning, every business day, and get them to pitch me a business idea. And from that, I sort of put together a picture again, how I think their generation sees the world, uses technology and how things might develop. And that's where the idea for the book came.

Sam 11:37
I love it. And before we embark on talking a little bit about some of the topics in the book, I think it's important to cover off the fact that today is the web's 32nd birthday. And it's become clear really since COVID, was declared a pandemic 12 months ago, pretty much again to this month, perhaps even week. And the web has forced us to reimagine our lives we are no longer do we meet people in person, it’s over Zoom. Connections are digital, this digital inflection point or digital singularity has become a reality. And now our opportunity to build a better future depends on a web that's infused with everyone's talent, energy and ideas and positivity. But not everyone has access to the web. And as the World Wide Web Foundation talks about, it is not a luxury, it is a lifeline. When it comes to young people, the book talks a lot about both sides of the coin, but it begins with society is distracted. And that smart devices have hijacked our attention. But for many young people out there, they don't have internet access, a third of young people don't have internet access. According to UNICEF, only the top third of under 25 have a home internet connection, which means that 2.2 billion young people around the world don't have the stable access they need during times like this to learn online. That opportunity gap for those that have access and those that don't is getting larger and larger every single day. So perhaps we could start in honor of the web's 32nd birthday and this important topic that the World Wide Web Foundation are championing talking about that particular point.

Bob 13:16
Yeah, I mean, it is a point which COVID brought into sharp relief, and the fact that the government has had to rapidly fund the provision of iPads for children in less affluent families so that they can continue with home education, I think illustrates the point any dew-well, that as you say, for some internet access, and in particular, having their own device other than a phone and having decent broadband access is for some still a luxury, and it's clearly accentuated the divide between the haves and the have nots and that's something that we need to address in this country. And globally, I was fascinated to see that yesterday in the US COVID recovery package that Joe Biden signed off, there was a huge allocation for precisely this point, getting access to the less affluent to internet and devices. And I think we have to congratulate the Common Sense Media organization in the states who campaign for children's rights on the web, who very much influenced government thinking in that regard. And we need to step up our game in the UK too I think.

Sam 14:17
I completely agree with you there. So while we're talking about technology and the web, obviously being super important through the pandemic, for what everything from learning to socializing. There's a topic in the book where you talk about cyber socializing. And that's a very different way of socializing to how we used to socialize as children. And I think it's an important topic for us to dive into around how's this gonna affect the relationships and wellbeing of the next generation? How do we get around the anxiety of always being on, how to kids create real relationships?

Bob 14:50
That's absolutely at the core of the book. And let's just start with a couple of interesting statistics. So first of all, 70% of parents in a recent YouGov survey said that they were concerned that their children spend too much time in front of screens and that this is pre-COVID. So one can only imagine how that concern has gone up during COVID. And 54% of Generation Z interviewed said that if their parents knew what really went on social media, they would be a lot more concerned than they are - two quite striking statistics. Now there's one thing I've learned from writing this book is that screen time of itself is not the issue, as we say, all screen time is not equal. And all users are not equal. So what I mean by that is, you know, if you're spending time on screen to educate yourself, or at least for part of the day to entertain yourself, no problem. It's some of the other stuff that goes on that can have negative implications. And I'm thinking here about addictive gaming, or the negative aspects of social media, which I'm sure we're gonna come on to. But we can't ignore the fact that over the last 10 years, as this technology has become ubiquitous and central to every aspect of our lives, and, and has become profoundly life shaping for the digital natives who've never known a time when there wasn't Google, and they didn't have a sort of supercomputer and a world class film studio in their pocket 24 hours a day, during this 10 year period, rates of anxiety, depression, unhappiness, loneliness, and sadly, even self-harm and suicidal ideation have reached record levels. Now, the truth of the matter is, when you look at the research is that there is no proven causality between these two things. But I just don't believe it's a coincidence. So one of the things coming back to your theme of data, is I do think we need the big tech companies to cooperate very comprehensively with academia, and civic society, to run studies to really establish what's good and what's bad about Generation Z's interaction with the internet and some of the negative aspects so that we can be clear about where we need to take steps to help.

So you asked me specifically about cyber socializing. What do we mean by that? Well, when I was growing up, because we didn't have the internet, so I formed my identity and my personality during my teens in an offline world. Obviously, Generation Z is doing it in a combination of the online and offline worlds. And that's fundamentally different. Let me try and explain how I think about it. So when I was growing up, you know, we play in the house, but if we wanted to play outside, or go away from the back garden, even the back garden itself, you would need to have your elder brother with you, or an adult supervisor, because there was a recognition that the outside world could be dangerous. We allow our kids to go up into their bedrooms and forage on the internet, which I would argue is infinitely more dangerous than the back garden, and possibly the high street. And because they're doing it from a quote “safe place”, i.e. the house, we kind of assume it's all okay. But the truth is, it might not be. And actually the internet, as we know from some of the bad aspects of social media, whether it be cyber bullying or hate speech, or, God forbid, child grooming, the internet can be a very dangerous place. But there is this sort of assumption that that because it's accessed from safe places that itself is safe. And that is just a fundamentally wrong assumption amongst some parents. I think the solution is we teach our children you know, sex education, I believe sex education is compulsory at schools. But where's the course at school on responsible internet use? And where are the conversations between parents and their children? If I think about my own eyes, it was quite striking. You say to your son, when it comes down for supper in the evening during lockdown, what have you been up to today? And he'll say, well, I was at playing football for an hour, you know, this morning, and I've been doing work at school. But the answers tend to focus on what they're doing in the offline world. And your question doesn't really go into when you're on social media, who are you talking to and what are you doing. Without prying, we just don't really have conversations about the detail of what our children are up to in the online world. As tricky as that might be I think we do have to do that, because we have to help them understand the difference between the online offline world and our dangerous aspects of the online world can be. And I was very happy to see the Department of Education has now introduced a compulsory course in relationship education, which started as part of the core curriculum last September, it doesn't go the full way that I would like to see to responsible internet use, but it does at least include a module which explains the difference between an offline and offline relationship in our family and outside the family context. So we are starting to make steps but there's so much more to do.

Sam 19:15
And when it comes to that safeguarding of the Internet, and particularly for children, well, I guess the question really is, what would be the gold standard. Are there existing examples around the world of this working well, and how do we safeguard so that the web can have a truly positive impact on society going forward?

Bob 19:34
Well, I think the UK Government actually deserves some credit for legislation that they're currently bringing forward. There's a whole suite of legislation coming right now, which includes number one, the online harms bill, this is groundbreaking world leading it will, for the first time impose statutory duty of care on the big tech platforms to consider what harms their products and services might be causing particularly to minors and if they identify harms, and we all know they exist, to take actions to mitigate them and Ofcom will have the responsibility of assessing whether the mitigations taken by the platforms are sufficient. And if they're not, they will have the ability to fine the platforms. Within two years, they may even impose the ability to hold senior executives in these companies personally accountable in the same way that we now are in the financial services industry through the senior managers regime. So this is this is quite groundbreaking legislation is going through Parliament this year. But it's part of a wider suite of legislation, which includes the age appropriate design code, which has a different set of responsibilities for big tech platforms and app designers to make sure that safety by design is built into apps as they're developed to take account of the kind of content that minors will have access to. And then there is, as I mentioned, the relationship education course now in schools, and then finally, the government has set up a digital markets unit within the competitions and markets authority to look very specifically at the sort of potentially dominant and monopolistic aspects of some of the big tech platforms and to create an enforcer code to deal with the pitfalls of those strong market positions. So I do think the UK deserves some credit. For this very advanced thinking, we need to see all of that come in and see what impact it has. Australia is another country, I would mentioned, they have an e-Safety Commissioner paid for by the government, whose job is to advise the public on how to relate to the internet safely, and to bring suggestions forward to government on actions the government should take. And we've seen recently more in the antitrust area in Australia, the government, they're taking steps against Facebook, and forced them to pay providers of news content that they use on their platforms. And the EU has some similar ideas around forcing the biggest big tech platforms to share their data with smaller and medium sized companies. So I think there are a number of places where things are happening, the US is the one to watch. Biden's just come in just before he arrived, we saw the Attorney General sending a new clause to Congress, which would see section 230, which is the part of one of the US acts, which gives the big tech platforms a shield against prosecution and against taking responsibility for user created content on their platforms. So if that were repealed, or substantially diminished, that would go to the heart of their business models and have very major impact potentially. And we're seeing the DOJ coming forward in on the antitrust front, following a very interesting report by the US Senate on the judiciary, the antitrust subcommittee last December concluding that the US antitrust regime had very much failed the American people - I would say failed the people the world, actually. And we're going to see now so I think more and more lawsuits against the biggest platforms in relation to potential abuses of market position. So there's a lot going on, Sam.

Sam 22:46
Certainly is. Well, firstly, delighted to hear about your perspective of the UK Government, on e-safety and the upcoming policy. You're absolutely right, responsible tech needs to be at the forefront of the Biden administration and I believe it will be from what we're already seeing from his tenure. But let's talk about Generation Z. They've grown up in a world never knowing anything but technology, they are truly digital natives. If you looked at a young person's phone, these days, there will be over 30 different mediums for people to get in touch with them. For me, that would be anxiety provoking, for them it's the norm. And it's going to really affect I think, the future of everything, but specifically the future of work. And I've been speaking recently with the leadership team of WeWork in talking about what the future of work looks like. What's your view on how employers are going to need to prepare so they can compete in the new world for talent?

Bob 23:44
So I think the first thing to recognize is that Generation Z doesn't see a boundary between the online and offline worlds in the same way that my generation did, because we obviously grew up for a period without having the online world. And that's going to carry over into the workplace. I describe in the book, what I call phygital workplaces. That's a term that describes a combination of the physical and the digital. And I think that remote working, for example, and flexi time are going to be two absolutely key aspects of the workplace for Generation Z. They don't see this boundary. So they'll be working at home, whether they're quotes at work or not, because they will be working through their devices. One of the things that recruiters will need to bear in mind is that Generation Z will look at a company's degree of technical sophistication and what technology is offered in deciding whether to join the company and that will be very obvious to them from the get-go because it will show in the application process. If you look at McDonald's, they're now using Snapchat to recruit a lot of their staff. They have what are called Snapplications. And Goldman Sachs is even using TikTok to recruit some graduates. So the most forward thinking companies will need to think about their use of technology. And really it comes down to the use of video. You know, I talked to so many graduates and students applying for jobs have to go through a terrible rigmarole of filling in forms online, spending hours going through application processes, and putting the same information into a slightly different format on everybody's individual system. And then not even hearing an acknowledgement because it's such a massive numbers game at the moment not getting a job and taking three months and then just getting a two line “no”. What people need to do is start using video, allow people to express themselves and provide this information through short, snappy videos, which I think actually enable the viewer in the company get a much better feel for the person that they're interviewing or potentially recruiting in any event than a than a CV on a piece of paper or submitted online. Then I think you have to look at the format of the work. So I think generations that is looking for what I call experiences, not jobs, that means shorter term roles, it means project based work. It means customised roles and training, they will move around more, I think they have a what I call take learn move mentality. And interestingly, Reed Hoffman said that, you know, LinkedIn, he regards your time there as a tour of duty, rotational, it's about learning and it's transformational to your career and hopefully for the company. But it could be quite short term. Then I think you need to get into how you pay and the conditions and I think Generations Z is looking for benefits, not salaries, they're interested in how much holiday they can take, the flexi time, the remote working, the fact that the office if they are there is a cool environment in a cool place, that they're provided with, with health care, which is very important to Gen Z. Extensive paid time off policies and access to their pay not you know, once a month, but whenever they want it, so everyday access to pay schemes. Then you need to think about how you engage generations that so they want to be heard. I mean, one of the things about generations, that is they have a very developed social conscience. And they will want to be heard in our companies that will go to how you appraise your staff. Again, you should be using videos not you know, not emails, how you communicate with your employees again, video and how you get feedback from employees again, video. Then you’ve got to think about workspaces. So in our office is going to move more to co-working spaces I described in the book, what I call office pilots, you go into one of the companies I work with the youngsters, you run into tech companies I work with, they come in in the morning, they again find a hot desking booth, they sit down, they crack out and three devices put on their earbuds. Interestingly, the two human beings, they probably don't talk to you all day, are the two human beings sitting next to them in the adjacent booths. But then of course, when they come back the following morning, it's two different people anyway, because this is a hot desking facility. So I'll stop there. But I mean, I hope that's given you some flavour for the way I think Generations Z is going to be approaching what it wants from employers and how differently we're going to have to think about working with them.

Sam 27:41
Yeah, it absolutely has. Well, firstly, I did not know that Goldman Sachs recruited by TikTok and McDonald's Snapplications I absolutely love that, I think that's great. And I couldn't agree any more, video is usually underused for organisations across all different areas of the business, not just talent.

Bob 27:59
Just to link video and data. This is really important. So I'm working with a cutting edge technology company in Northern Ireland called Secure Broadcast. When you watch one of their videos on your mobile phone, this this will be the way most of it is consumed. It's not just one video sent to all, it's a video that when it appears on your phone actually takes data from you and your account with that company to hyper personalise the video. So it will say dear Sam, it will know that you're in London, they will know where you are in the world, what their what language you want to see the video in. It will know when you last were in contact with the company. If it's a customer interaction, it will have your account balance or your loyalty point balance shown up on the screen in front of you, your own in real-time. So some of the most advanced organisations are now adopting this technology to interact with their customers. But we're going to see it too with employees soon. They don't just want to watch a video that's being sent to 30,000 staff, they want to see a video that's being sent to them very specifically with hyper personalised information in real time shown on the screen to them.

Sam 28:59
Absolutely. Yeah, I think I think personalisation of video, particularly when it comes to marketing and customer success is going to be critical. We're coming towards the end. But I do want to ask you quickly while we're on this topic, not just about the future of the workplace, but the future of skills. How will the nature of job roles and requirements change as we enroll this next gen of new workers who are living in a digital environment where technology evolves, and new technologies emerge every single day?

Bob 29:29
So this is a really interesting one, Sam, and I think the big question here is going back to my sort of concept of distraction. I described in the book what I call digital bees. So youngsters grazing on multiple information sources or honey pots, as I call them. Imagine a bee sort of buzzing around on six different honey pots as they leap from Snapchat to Instagram to YouTube to a Google search or maybe watching Netflix and doing all those things at the same time or possibly a game going on in the background. So the question is are we teaching our new generation to be serial multitaskers. And if we are, is that good for a world where AI takes away basic work? We think about it, you know, in the future, the thing that is going to be important human beings is to do the things that only human beings can do because they're so complex that pieces can't do them and robots can't do them. So I have a fundamental question about whether you know, the way technology trains people to multitask, which means that by definition, they do not deep attend to a conversation, they do not deep listen to anything that they're listening to, they do not, you know, just think about your own children with earbuds in while they're doing two other things. And they listen to music all day while they're doing a couple of things at the same time. So they're not deep reading a book, they're not deep listening to a conversation or to music, or they're not deep watching a film because there's text appearing in the corner of the Netflix screen or Netflix chat, or you know, they're on Snapchat at the same time. Is that consistent with the sort of deep work and focus and concentration that's going to be required in the AI world? That is a whole, we could spend another hour on that, but I think that's the big issue.

Sam 31:02
I would agree with you there. And while we're on all these topics, but the topic of digital and video, reading the book, I couldn't help but think that this would make for an exceptional documentary of some sort, kind of dicey utopian TV series, perhaps. Can we expect to see anything on television anytime soon, related to Born Digital?

Bob 31:23
It's a great question. And I very much hope so is the short answer. I mean, between us, I am working on a storyboard for a documentary don't say too much about it. But the idea would be to take the story on from Netflix’s most watched documentary, which was The Social Dilemma, which I'm sure most of your listeners will have watched. It was good, but to my mind, it told the story and tell the story brilliantly. But it told the story through the eyes of x tech executives who are middle aged, it didn't really tell the story through the eyes of Gen Z itself. So what I want to do is make a documentary that builds on the themes of the book, but very much tells the story through the eyes of the next generation had, they're seeing technology. And the good news is, as I've learned through writing the book, and then following it up with a number of organisations who are focused on this, that Gen Z knows it's digitally overloaded, and they are developing their own solutions to dealing with that, including kind of safety tech solutions. And happily, there are a number of charities around the world who are holding incubator sessions and accelerator programs for Gen Z entrepreneurs, Gen Z social entrepreneurs in particular, who want to bring forward solutions to digital overload. And that's really exciting. So I want to build that into the documentary because I am an innately optimistic person. There’s a danger if you read my book, you might sort of end feeling a bit negative about the whole situation. I don't feel like that at all. Because I've seen what youngsters are doing themselves just as we've delivered them, you know, I think a bad hand of cards in relation to the planet where bequeathing them, or the Global War on Terror or now COVID debt, I mean, crikey, what more can we do to them? If we're also delivering them digital overload, the good news is Generations Z is resilient, it is positive, it is creative, and it is thinking hard about how to address these issues. And boy, you better watch out because they will come forward with solutions. And they will be the powerhouse that sorts out some of these terrible global issues that my generation is leaving them.

Sam 33:17
Bob, thank you for sending me the book in advance. It's a fantastic book. It really is. And it brings a lot of the issues but also opportunities to light. I would be remiss if I didn't ask you one question that you've gone out and spent a lot of time with young people in many different guises, as well as for the book. If you had one piece of advice for the next generation, what would it be?

Bob 33:40
Be ambitious, be bold. You know, my experience of watching people develop in business careers over the last 30 years has been the thing that holds most people back is not their ability, it is their ambition. They don't think that they're capable of doing the big thing they think incrementally. So I think if I had one piece of advice, and I'd be happy to try and help any youngster achieve their ambitions is think big. And don't think you can't do it. You probably can, go and find people to help you but think big.

Sam 34:07
I love it, think big, what a place to end. Bob, thank you so much for your time. Congratulations on the book, and I look forward to seeing it as number one on Amazon.

Bob 34:17
Working on that. Thank you, Sam very much. It's been a great pleasure again.