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Make It Digital: How the BBC and its partners unleashed the UK's digital creativity

In 2013, Tony Hall said he wanted the BBC to “inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology”, and to do that with a new approach to partnership for the BBC. That was the inspiration behind Make it Digital.

Make it Digital came from an understanding that digital disruption was changing all of our audiences’ lives, and looked likely to continue to do so – but none of us could predict exactly how.

So giving everyone the ability to understand this changing environment and then giving specific groups the skills to create in the digital world was the best way to help them to thrive.

We have worked with all parts of the BBC. We have worked with the teams leading our most popular shows and programmes, and asked them to think about how working with us can be relevant to their audiences. There has been huge faith and generosity amongst senior management to do something new.

And we have collaborated to deliver the BBC micro:bit, Weather Watchers, Doctor Who Game Maker, and a range of television and radio programmes.

Throughout this we have worked extensively with partners, from digital start-ups to global tech firms, charitable trusts to local libraries, they all contributed their expertise to help UK audiences to learn how to code, improve their basic digital skills, or understand the new digital opportunities available to them.

Our partners have shown faith and open mindedness to go on the journey with us, to work in a new way, and recognise that a highly unusual coalition can work towards something very precious: helping our audiences work out how they and their families can be successful in a new world.

Working in a different way means we have created capacity in the BBC to do something original and important as well as developing new ways to work with partners to deliver something that could not be more timely, relevant and important.

To celebrate our achievements so far we have commissioned a series of essays about the initiative and its main activities, and asked our partners to reflect on their participation in this ground-breaking project.

You can download the resulting ebook (as a PDF) here – we hope you enjoy it.