Interview with David Puttnam, Chancellor of the UK's Open University and Digital Champion for Ireland
End production: 15/02/2013 First transmission: 15/02/2013
On 15 February 2013, David Puttnam, Chancellor of the UK's Open University and Digital Champion for Ireland, participated at the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council in Brussels.
This video shows extracts of his interview.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by David Puttnam, Chancellor of the UK's Open University and Digital Champion for Ireland (in ENGLISH): I think my goal as digital champion is to help people to become as aware of the opportunities that the digital world offers as I became lets say decades ago, […] particularly as an opportunity because of many small businesses (1, 2, 3 persons businesses) which are making terrific products, frequently operating on a very very sub-scale local way, when in fact the nature of the product offered is sometimes unique, and what the digital world offers them is a global market place.
||Soundbite by David Puttnam (in ENGLISH): The Irish education system can benefit enormously by fully embracing digital worlds, digital opportunities, using the very best teachers in a more innovative and interesting way, so the education world is a big challenge for me, and then very interestingly probably because of my own age is the impact on the elderly, on loneliness, [...], as families are breaking up connecting the elderly back into society, into their families, is an other really important job that digital world can achieve.
||Soundbite by David Puttnam (in ENGLISH): Obviously the improvement of infrastructure is [one crucial achievement] and it means taking a deep breath in order to making commitment and investment, but you cannot do much without it, the other is literally getting or raising people's imaginations as to what is possible for them, trying to get people, as I said, in small towns who offer good products often at an artisanal level to see that there is actually a global market place for their products, that requires a leap of imaginations as it does not need any development from intrinseque skills but it does need a leap of imagination to see that actually there might people in Shanghai and New York who would be very interested in buying their products, and then we need to take it through the complex issue of turning a tiny or micro business into a different type of business, a growth business, this is very real challenge but it can be achieved.
||Soundbite by David Puttnam (in ENGLISH): I think the biggest challenge in Europe always is finding good practices or ideas and taking them to scale, and [we should] avoid that sense of [fearing that it could not work on a certain place] and try to get people to understand that there are serious of opportunities and if they could just put away their egos and experiment what other people can come out with.
||Soundbite by David Puttnam (in ENGLISH): I have been very very lucky to be in on the ground floor of something which has been developed in Cork by two young men working in Ireland and is called "coder dojo", it was based on the idea that as they were looking at what were the inhibition for young people learning codings, coding being here a language, and when you have command of that language there are things you can do that you would never ever do if you do not understand the coding otherwise you are just a user [...] and the coding could be taught at a remarkably young age and so we set "coder dojo" as a completely free event in local towns, anyone could do it and all you need is that people who understand the digital world would be ready to give their time, you need a place to do it, you need parents to come along with their kids, and the only rule was that parents must not touch the keyboard, they must not help the children, the children have got to explore from themselves, the project took off like that, all the little local towns in West Cork have got their own coder dojos, [some have been set up] in Dublin and London now, and it is a movement that is growing very very quickly and kids love it. Just the other day I was in a small town in West Cork and I did the first graduation ceremony where 40 certificates were delivered, the youngest kid was 5 and the oldest 12.
||Soundbite by David Puttnam (in ENGLISH): I have thought endlessly about this for years, the sad thing is that the debate has been polarized between the intellectual rights fascists, i.e. people thinking that everything has a price attached to it, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the copyrights radicals who think that everything should be free, and unfortunately both of these groups which are wrong have dominated the debate. The truth is sensible approach towards copyrights requires two things, first, an understanding of how to educated people into a knowledge of what copyrights is and why it is important, they have to come to that conclusion, and secondly, is that there are areas where copyrights owners have to understand that it is in their best interests to allow materials to circulate freely for example in the world of education. I have always felt that the education world should be a free zone though controlled.