Dr Elizabeth Lomas is an Associate Professor in Information Governance at UCL. 

In 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU). The consequences and outcomes from this decision have continued to be debated. Across the EU, ICT represents a significant economic driver. Within this context, ICT was calculated in 2015 as delivering 5.9% of the UK’s GDP; the largest ICT percentage for any EU Member State at the time. As such, ICT has a key stake in the negotiated changes. In addition, the UK is a large service economy processing large amounts of data/content in support of many functions.

Since 2016, Elizabeth Lomas (UCL) and Julie McLeod (Northumbria University) have been gathering data to record and map ICT/information professional perspectives on what this does mean in terms of shifting opportunities and threats for the sector and profession.  We are currently asking for help to provide your perspectives through an online survey available at https://opinio.ucl.ac.uk/s?s=70519. This takes only 10-20 minutes to complete and can provide an important data set for the ICT domain and information professionals in terms of what Brexit does mean/risk.

It is important to note, that whilst Brexit was a UK decision, it has potentially global ramifications and therefore we are looking to draw in perspectives from across the globe. This research work to date has been helpful in understanding the impact of Brexit but in addition is assisting in reviewing how we can navigate this change and aspects of uncertainty. The latter has been a prevailing context for Brexit given that the negotiated agreements have taken significant time and are potentially still not clear or all encompassing.

This survey seeks to gather the needs of those working across the information/ICT domain in order to respond positively to the changes triggered by the Brexit decision or to mitigate threats. Data has been gathered throughout the Brexit process. The first survey was launched on the first working day after the Brexit decision and obtained 733 responses. The results of this first survey have been more fully published and are available at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0186452.  The second survey was launched one year after Article 50 was triggered in March 2018 and obtained 245 responses again. In addition, two appreciative inquiry workshops were held. At each workshop there were participants who were from the UK and beyond. Appreciative inquiry is a strengths-based approach, intended to focus only on the potential positives for change. Within the surveys and the workshops, a framework for focusing contributions from the participants was provided through a STEEPLE model. STEEPLE is an acronym for seven factors—Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Environmental, Political, Legal and Ethical. It is a common strategic management tool used in commercial circles, including ICT settings. The second data has been published at https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0227089. In addition, a policy paper was published at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/information-studies/sites/information-studies/files/lomas_mcleod_brexit_final_2018.pdf .

However, even in 2021, Brexit still continues to present us with opportunities and threats.

We therefore very much hope you will complete the survey at https://opinio.ucl.ac.uk/s?s=70519, by 1st March 2021.

All questions are optional and any data is helpful. Feel free to disseminate this further to your contacts. It is important for the ICT domain and information professionals’ voices to be heard and we intend to publish our further findings as well as flagging these to policy makers. Please do assist.

Dr Elizabeth Lomas,

Associate Professor in Information Governance, UCL.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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