The Digital Deal kicks off

06 Sep 2013

We had the pleasure of hosting the Digital Deal Kick Off Workshop yesterday. It was a great day (once I’d gotten over my fear of public speaking), and it was lovely to meet the people who I’ll be supporting to deliver the projects.

What really struck me was the positivity about these projects. I’ve been speaking to the 12 organisations for the past few weeks by email and phone but it wasn’t until I met them that I realised how excited they were to be given the opportunity to deliver their projects to their tenants and their communities.

At the workshop, we spoke about how the projects will be managed by Tinder and how we’ll evaluate them. We’re focusing on evaluation so much because we’re treating these 12 projects as flagships and I suppose, pioneers for other organisations.

The turnout was overwhelming, with many organisations arriving with multiple delegates. They’d travelled from Scotland, Wales, and as far south as Somerset.

I was told by many organisations that they’d wanted to create and implement a digital strategy for a while but they’d hit numerous hurdles, mainly around finance and resources. That’s why this opportunity is so important; it not only provides match funding for the projects but also the support of Good Things Foundation and our partners.

Now, the hard work starts!

The 12 projects will commence this month. We’ll be able to see the outcomes and outputs towards the end of this quarter and I’ll be updating you with their progress so you can follow their journey.

I’d also like to mention that I saw a negative comment online in response to a press release about one of the projects. It said “if someone wants to go online, why can’t they go to an internet cafe?”. The Digital Deal is about so much more than just ‘going online’, it’s about creating a legacy and supporting people from grassroots level. I mean, yes, people could access the internet at a public library or cafe, but what if these people don’t know how to use a mouse, or keyboard? What if they’ve never used a search engine or they don’t know how to set up an email account? That’s not to mention accessibility, what if their local library is 15 miles away or if the person is housebound? I could go on, but you get my point.

You know the saying ‘give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he’ll be fed for a lifetime’? That’s what the Digital Deal is. We’re teaching people to fish, creating opportunity and empowering people who are disenfranchised. Giving people independence and supporting those in isolation or deprivation.

The organisations are encouraged to build partnerships with each other and within their local communities, as we want this journey to be one that’s travelled by a whole community.

More to follow as the projects develop, keep checking back!