Martha Lane Fox outlines her vision for a green, digital economy

Businesswoman and philanthropist, Martha Lane Fox joined Good Things Foundation to share her thoughts on modern Britain - and how we can be the greenest and most digital economy in the world.

Good Things Foundation launched their new conversation series, Digital Futures for Good, exploring the solutions to fix the digital divide. In our second episode, supported by strategic partners, Vodafone, we’re joined by Martha Lane Fox, founder of during the dotcom boom, President of British Chambers of Commerce, and former Digital Inclusion Champion. 

The duo talked about Martha’s experience in business, media, and politics, as well as what modern Britain should look like and how to get there.

“Well, modern Britain has to be based around the tools of the modern age… 84% of our businesses say they don’t have the right skills in their business and that they’re anxious about technology…  This is the bedrock of our economy, these businesses.

So you’re not going to be able to power up individuals, power up businesses and ultimately therefore make the state work better if you don’t put this as a fundamental building block. And that really isn’t a political point, that’s just frickin’ obvious.”

What do the experts say

During the launch of Digital Futures For Good with Martha Lane Fox, Good Things were delighted to be joined by digital inclusion experts Julie Hawker, Chief Executive at Cosmic and Mohini Rao, Responsible Business Lead at Accenture to get their reaction to the interview.

Julie Hawker agreed with Martha that the digital inclusion agenda should sit with the Prime Minister. 

“For too long, [the digital inclusion agenda] has sat with others in government. And without the backing of the Prime Minister, we’re in for another period of pushing from the grassroots centre rather than the centre.”

Julie continues, claiming that digital inclusion needs more funding for digital skills and engagement in modern Britain. “Leadership is vital, but we need the cash to back it up.”

Mo added that the conversation around digital skills needs to take place in the context of Generative AI and new advancements in quantum computing. 

“Businesses are faced with a real conundrum. How do they harness new technologies at pace … while potentially re-skilling an entire workforce. Digital skills are going to shift.”

She added that digital inclusion is not just good for business but valuable for employees, the public, as well as the bottom line. ‘Shared success’, as Mo terms it, is essential for today’s society.

“Everyone benefits from digital inclusion, not just shareholders, and businesses should be proud of that.”

Although technologies may be advancing quickly and putting organisations under pressure, optimists argue Gen AI and emergent technologies could make digital inclusion obsolete. Mo disagreed, adding that digital inclusion is a ‘moving target’ and issues such as access, skills and support will continue to evolve in nature.

Both guests are optimistic about the possibility of technology helping to deliver digital inclusion, yet they also recognise the importance of focusing on the human side of the issue.

The event highlighted the need for next Prime Minister to be willing to put in the work necessary to ensure digital inclusion for all, with Julie noting how important it was to speak to the disadvantage that many people struggle with and keeping a close eye on the matter at hand.

What’s next for Digital Futures For Good?

Digital Futures for Good will see Helen with thought leaders, policy makers, and experts in digital inclusion to highlight best practices and actionable solutions for enhancing digital access, literacy, and affordability.

With a UK general election in view, Digital Futures will spotlight leaders with a track record in delivering and advocating for digitally excluded communities, including:

Join us on Wednesday 22 May, 1-2pm to have the first look at Emma and Helen’s conversation covering the intersectional links between those living in poverty, including food poverty and data and digital poverty.

Register for your free place today!

  • Representatives from local government, to be announced after the Local Elections in May.
  • Dr Sam Shah, Director of Digital Development at NHS England, and Dr Minal Bakhai, Director of Primary Care Transformation at NHS England.

Digital Futures For Good – the full picture

We will be hosting multiple interviews, and events, throughout the year – giving you the chance to feed into the conversation about how best we can fix the digital divide – together. If you have any thoughts or comments on the first episode, why not get in touch with us? Your feedback may be included in our report, wrapping up the series at the end of the year, or we may ask our up-coming guests your burning questions.

Get in touch!


Whilst we’ve got you

Martha Lane Fox is doing the Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for four incredible charities, if you would like to support her, you can do so here.