In the lead up to the Olympic Games, one of the most common topics of conversation has been the legacy of the event. Government ministers and others have spoken about the long-term health benefits the Games may have, suggesting that it will inspire more young people to get out and exercise.
Similarly, the government has pointed to the fact that the Games will create lots of new job opportunities and has also instigated the regeneration of a depressed part of east London, which is known for high levels of unemployment.
But, perhaps, the most significant upshot of hosting the Games will be seen in the UK’s technology sector, which has been forced to accelerate infrastructure development in time for the Games. In particular, the media centre for the Games is set to be turned into a world-class technology hub shortly after the event, thus creating as many as 4,000 new jobs.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, recently spoke of his excitement about the Games, saying: "No other host city has been this far advanced with its legacy planning before even the first starting gun has been fired."
He added: "The incredible track record of start-ups and entrepreneurs in east London is growing at an impressive rate, and this is a chance to provide additional connectivity, capacity, investment and highly advanced infrastructure."
London’s answer to Sillicon Valley currently resides in the Old Street area of the city, where a number of leading technology firms are based. Despite this, the government recently acknowledged that it has failed to properly embrace the increasing importance of computer programming and has, therefore, announced that it is to soon become a more integral part of the school curriculum.
It remains to be seen, though, whether beyond the creation of new jobs, the Games make a sustainable difference to the country’s technology sector. And perhaps the more important question, is whether it should take an event of this magnitude to prompt progress?