Meet the Digital Trustees: Hugh Wallace

Robyn Barclay

Robyn Barclay

03 May 2023 | Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Hugh Wallace, Digital Trustee, Meet the Digital Trustees Profile

What is a Digital Trustee?

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, it’s more important than ever for charities to have a strong understanding of the digital world. From cybersecurity threats to data privacy concerns, the digital realm poses a variety of risks and opportunities that organisations must be prepared to navigate. This is where Digital Trustees come in. They are digital experts who serve on boards to provide valuable insights and guidance on all things digital.

So what exactly is a Digital Trustee? Put simply, they are individuals who bring digital expertise to the boards of charities. They may have backgrounds in fields such as IT, cybersecurity, data science, or digital marketing. Their role is to advise on issues related to technology, digital strategy, and innovation.

The Digital Trustee Experience

This is the first in a series of Third Sector Lab blog posts called “Meet the Digital Trustees.” The series will highlight the ways in which digital professionals make a difference in the third sector. 

Hugh Wallace is the Chief Information Officer at Research Data Scotland. He has a background in large-scale transformational IT programs in the public sector and previously worked for the Scottish government for six years. He also has experience in front-facing digital roles for National Museums Scotland and Oxfam GB. 

At the end of last year he became a digital trustee for the Charity Finance Group, a charitable organisation that works to improve the financial information and accreditation available for charities. He heard about the opportunity through Third Sector Lab’s Digital Trustees event, and since then has been using his knowledge to provide input and give a digitally-focused steer.

Wallace thinks that having digital experts on the boards of charities is vital because all organisations are digital organisations.” Everyone has new challenges to face in terms of data, cybersecurity, and the profile of their user base. Digital experts can provide guidance about hard and transformational change, and their understanding is imperative for organisations.

Coming from a third sector background himself, Hugh understood the commitment that it would take to join a board, and encourages others to learn about the opportunity. 

“I think people need to go into it with eyes open and they need to understand that it’s a commitment, but it can be a rewarding and ultimately beneficial thing for your career, and bring a new perspective to your job.”

Digital trustees help companies to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the digital world and ensure that they are well-positioned for the future. In return, they themselves can gain management skills and fresh insights into problem-solving.

If your organisation doesn’t already have a digital trustee on its board, now is the time to consider adding one. If you are a digital professional, perhaps an opportunity like this one is for you. Get involved by taking part in our free Digital Trustees Matchmaking events or look for current profiles and vacancies.

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