During a later session on digital skills and building capability within the DT Hub Working Group, Anglian Water Services’ Chief Data Officer, Matt Edwards spoke of the need to better communicate digital goals within organisations.
“Storytelling is such an important skill in our world, to help build business cases,” he said. “What we would really like to do is create guidance that helps any number of organisations learn how to become more comfortable communicating about opportunities through digital twins.”
Effective communication around the importance of using digital twins, he added, can help to “drive digital investment and engage the workforce at all levels. It is our job as leaders to make it happen.
“We are missing a trick if we aren’t showing business communities the art of the possible and showing them a window on the future.” Digital twin storytelling, added Matt, is about “making the narrative and the technologies accessible”.
Another advocate of promoting digital twins more thoroughly was Melissa Zanocco OBE of the Infrastructure Client Group and Co-Chair of the DT Hub Community Council. She told the Summit: “The power of storytelling is just as important as the digital skills. It is about being able to win hearts and minds and put everything into a language that others can understand.”
She added that digital professionals need to ensure they can “talk boardroom language, so that board-level people have the right information to make the decisions they need.”
Digital Twin Hub Director, Justin Anderson spoke of the group “fostering a collaborative space for members to exchange knowledge about digital twins and creating safe spaces to share knowledge about digital twins.
“Our role involves chronicling insights from various sources like community calls, work groups and panel discussions,” he said. “All of these insights are freely distributed among our members, creating a well-stocked repository of valuable resources.”
World Bank Senior Consultant and GeoEnable Director, Steven Eglinton agreed. “Communication is absolutely the single biggest thing for me.” People, he added, have varied skill sets and expertise about how to implement digital technology for infrastructure. “How we use digital twins incrementally will be the challenging part.” Connecting digital twins together, Steven added, promises to bring people together too.
Delegates to the Summit also heard from Innovate UK’s Head of Digital Twins, Simon Hart who spoke about six new cyber-physical infrastructure projects to accelerate innovation in the UK. He encouraged SMEs to engage with Innovate UK’s new ‘Innovation Hub’ and a newly launched ‘Moonshots for the UK’ initiative. Simon asked the audience to submit ideas for ‘moonshot’ projects that could help to accelerate research and development in the UK around digital twins. “We want to hear from the public if they have identified any gaps,” he said.