What We Should Learn, and How We Should Behave In This Wealthy Information Age

On the 5thJuly, The Boardroom Network, Bournemouth took to the garden at The Italian Villa to enjoy feasting, fellowship, and the finer points of living in the Information Age.  I think I can speak for the members when I say Jacqui, Jay and Tony Beales’ team did us proud!

Digitally Rich Data At Risk!

Our first presentation was from Aaron Whiffin representing, “Webbed Feet,” an award-winning web agency in Salisbury.

Aaron’s focus was on computer hacking, specifically of websites and emails.  Packing a powerful punch, Aaron had done his research on our own members so that the results were credible and the threats (to 64% of the people at our event), incredible.

1stHot Topic: Computer Hacking.

Every website is vulnerable – Magento or WordPress Websites have free tools that report on the threat level.  33% of the people there today were recognised as vulnerable from Aaron’s pre-meeting research on their websites alone!!!

Using the tools that Aaron is recommending to us, he and his team hacked into a customer’s site within 20 seconds!  This was, of course, in response to the customer being concerned about already being hacked!  Point well made; point taken.

WpScans is a great resource for WordPress site owners – and you can find all the links you need here: https://www.webbedfeet.uk/news/has-your-website-been-hacked

I had a go and my site came back as vulnerable – so this is sobering stuff!  Who ya gonna call?

2ndHot Topic: Emails.

We were asked to put up our hands if we use the same password across multiple accounts… and even worse, if we use a weak one like “Password123”!

LinkedIn got compromised. 164 million email addresses got stolen. If your LinkedIn email address and your password were on that list, and if you still use those login details for multiple sites – you and I are very vulnerable!

So, what can we do?  The trick is to have a different password for every system – sometimes changing the end of the password is enough if this challenge seems too daunting.

UPDATE!  Last night, having written this, I did a simple Java update on my Mac, and picked up a new one on me: a Browser Hacker called “Any Search.”  Aside from warning you to be cautious with your Java update, I feel this really brings home the importance of Aaron’s message… and yes, I’ve emailed him.

The Offer

Aaron’s generous offer was to say that he was happy for us to send him questions, and that he was willing to check our sites, and our email addresses.

With dry humour, Aaron closed with, “We’re Webbed Feet – we do security audits, we can fix hacked sites, hack into other people’s websites, we can make your site secure!”  Gets my vote!

Data Rich; Skills Poor


Angharad Holloway, Head Teacher at Talbot Heath School, was next up.  Her passion for innovation in education rang through louder and clearer than a school bell with the school’s brand new curriculum, never before seen in the UK – or Internationally.  The declaration is that the current educational system is not preparing young people for business.

We need to address the skills-shortage, and we need to educate our young people for the future.

“Our young people are Data Rich, and Skills Poor…”

To compete Internationally, our young people need to be educated differently.  Thus, Mrs Holloway was invited to devise an educational model for the future.  We need young people who are creative, adaptable, resilient, agile in their thinking, digitally proficient, able to design, as well as problem-solve.

This is just how innovative Angharad’s approach is: the new curriculum starts from age 3!  All students are going to be taught creative-thinking, problem-solving, design-engineering, material science, digital proficiency, and also ethics!  As Artificial Intelligence develops, we need to understand the human and ethical impact of our decisions around what we are designing.  In other words, it is important that our curriculum becomes more ‘human’ – not less.

The school has already attracted significant interest from the Government and educational institutions worldwide. A huge new building has been built – for inter-disciplinary learning, with a STEAM focus and with a strong emphasis on the arts to enhance and amplify the human aspect.  It even has a Holographic Suite!

The future is clear: it is not going to be about number-crunching – the computers can do that faster and more accurately than us.  Instead, Arts and Ethics will help us build intelligently for the future, without neglecting the development of scientific, thinking, and technological prowess.

The new building will also be open for local businesses.  If you want to be part of the future, reach out to Angharad and the team.

Be Findable, Be Understandable, Be Actionable

Testing things is an essential part of any serious business.

“Test don’t guess!”

Thus says our Tom Hadley who went on record that he would be testing his other brand at TBN in future.

Tom had some cracking calls to action, as he discussed his own switching of company emphases at The Boardroom Network.   The three Golden Rules for marketing – especially in the Digital Sphere are, first of all, that you have to be findable.  Secondly, you have to be understandable.  Thirdly, your business should be actionable… making it easy for your customers to buy.

As far as ‘understandable’ goes, Tom pointed out that our one-minute-pitch is a great opportunity to get feedback, and thus to refine our message until clarity leads to being understandable.

Tom’s Agency Interface message has been warmly received at TBN, so we’re all keen to discover more about the new message!

Sailing with One’s Lucky Sunnies – Southampton Boat Show Regatta

Chris Rees shared on sailing in September.  There are 3 days of racing during the Southampton Boat Show that we can get involved with.  After all, once the data has been secured, our passwords changed, and our curriculum transformed, it just remains to go sailing!  (And to drink Champagne, of course!)

Dates for your diary to really have a proper go at sailing are September 17th-19th.

  • Monday is the City Cup Day – Sept 17th
  • Tuesday is the Women’s Only Day – Sept 18th
  • Wednesday is the Property Cup – for people from the Property Industry – Sept 19th.

As if we needed more incentive, Chris baited us with the opportunity to have breakfast at the Harbour Hotel in Southampton’s Ocean Village – an amazing new building in a wonderful location.

Next Bournemouth event is 2ndAugust, back at the Hallmark!