Four News Themes of Today’s UK (that are not Brexit)

There are four broad themes relayed with varying degrees of volume and frequency through our media channels that provide both challenges and opportunities for society as a whole. They are:
  • Towards an Active Nation (or more broadly, fitness and the NHS)
  • Safeguarding (ensuring we’re all safe in the activities we pursue)
  • Verification (are those qualifications for real?)
  • Changing Work Demographics (how to build a workforce that meets the needs of all)
This post will look at each briefly and discuss how they can all be brought together with the help of technology and joined up thinking. Future posts will continue to look at each in detail as well as initiatives to bring them all together.

Towards an Active Nation

Sport England’s five year strategy “Towards an Active Nation’ lends the headline to this theme. It targets increased participation levels in groups that are otherwise under-represented in sport. But the theme is much broader than that.

As we covered last week in our post on the International Day of Happiness, doctor’s prescribing non-pharmaceutical alternatives to wellness issues such as depression have already been the subject of TV documentaries, or exercise as a pre-cursor to other obesity treatments are at least on the radar of the NHS.

Of course, it’s a two-way contract that requires patient participation too, but wasn’t it encouraging for CIMSPA to state in their Impact Report 2017-2019, “Imagine a future where a GP can identify their local chartered activity practitioner and prescribe exercise”?


Once more this is in the news this week with the retrial of football coach, Bob Higgins at Bournemouth Crown Court. Why shouldn’t a parent, or any individual for that matter, be able to check that their or their child’s football coach or piano teacher for that matter is qualified and safe? Of course, they should.


Certainly related to safeguarding in the context of sports and recreational activities, verification is also a much broader blight on society. Fake university degrees were exposed on BBC Radio 4 last year which identified a multi-million pound annual industry in the peddling of fake degrees. Not just to the hidden corners of society but to NHS consultants, nurses and a large defence contractor.

The UK construction industry has seen prosecutions recently for the supply of false certifications on what was described as, “an industrial-scale forgery factory”.

Almost all, if not all, industry sectors need a better system to verify an employee’s qualifications.

Changing Work Demographics

It’s expected that millennials will account for 75% of the UK workforce by 2025. Much has been made of the changing expectations of millennials in the workplace when compared with Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

Deloitte’s Millennial Survey 2016 did a nice job of capturing the different expectations and how companies best respond to earn their loyalty. Companies having a purpose (above profit) and enabling a good work/life balance were two of the recommendations highlighted by Deloitte.

We’re also experiencing the rise of the gig economy and the highest ever rates of self-employment in the UK (at over 15% of the UK workforce). All of this leads to more flexible working and an ever increasing demand on companies to integrate and motivate a more disperse, more demanding group of workers.

How do all of these themes come together?

Imagine a company committing to improve the health and wellness of its workforce as part of a broader initiative to reduce its carbon footprint. It encourages its employees and their families (as well as contractors) to use a portal that provides access to many local sports and recreational activities. All with the safeguards and verification you would expect, of course. Individuals can log their activities and enjoy some degree of gamification to compare with their colleagues.

Imagine the company encourages walking and cycling rather than using the car (not to just to work) and starts logging the positive impact on the environment. Different teams can see their own impact and a degree of competition springs up.

Workers are getting fitter and building a loyalty for the company previously lacking. The company is benefitting from improved employee retention, better productivity and brand value is increasing as they start reporting their reduced carbon footprint to the press. Others want to join…

How hard do we have to imagine? How far in the future is this vision? Actually, the underlying technology is here today. It’s the tahdah technology that underpins organisations such a Mountain Training, ABCTT, Water Skills Academy among many others, including CIMPSA.

tahdah, the future, today.