The work of the Sheffield Digital Coalition will be built around seven domain areas.

The Smart Sheffield Report (2015) identified a number of domain areas that could form part of an approach to developing a Smart Sheffield. We have borrowed and further developed these to fit the context of Sheffield today. The domains are basically agreed areas of focus with each domain covering a number of specific subject areas, or sub-domains and a number of key challenge questions to be addressed.

We believe that it is important for the people and organisations involved in each of the domain groups to come to some consensus on what these challenge questions should be.

Using these domains, an initial domain model has been constructed which serves a number of purposes:

Enabling people to see connections between activity, people and organisations — issues and challenges are rarely contained in neat areas of a city’s ecosystem;

Amplifying the good stuff — you only know what you know. Seeing what other people are doing may generate inspiration in others;

Identifying the gaps (opportunities) — without know what is happening we can’t really be sure what isn’t

Measuring impact — what is the ‘health’ of each domain and therefore of Sheffield as a thriving digital city?; and

Telling our story — an important part of this will be helping us to tell our story, both within Sheffield and outside of the City. The ultimate goal is that our dotSHF ‘brand’ has currency and can attract interest and investment into the City.

Smart Cities are those that use their collective talent and expertise to provide smart answers to smart questions.

Smart questions are intelligent questions informed by good data, information and knowledge. Smart answers are solutions that employ new technologies, methods and behaviours in positive ways.

dotSHF will only be successful if it can identify priorities (in the form of smart questions) and deliver on them. We see this as a shared, ongoing process that needs to be nurtured, encouraged and continually communicated about, rather than a consultation that produces a strategy and leaves the Council with the responsibility of implementing a set of recommendations.

We think this approach is a lot smarter, and has the potential to set Sheffield apart from other places. The domain model will allow us to focus on asking — and answering — some smart questions for the city. Here are the questions in each domain area that were posed by the speakers at the first digital conference:

We think it is important that each domain area picks the challenge question(s) — this again is about playing to our collective strengths and solving city problems as a collaborative effort.