When we conceived of the NT100 our starting point was the simple recognition that around the world digital technologies are being deployed in amazing ways to solve intractable social problems: social exclusion, lack of access to healthcare, education, culture, community; disenfranchisement; abuses of human rights.
We were already aware of a pretty sizeable number of inspiring projects but also conscious that for every innovation we had come across, there were probably many more that were unknown to us. We felt that little had been done to build a truly global picture.
Our efforts to support more people to become digital makers focusses on an interest in their understanding how digital technologies work. But even with all the great resources available to support young digital makers, what is it that sparks an interest in digital making, and where do you go after that point?
When Apps for Good launched in 2010, we had fewer than 50 students in two centres and a team of five. For the 2013/14 academic year, we have 20,000 students and a team of 15. That is a 40,000% increase in our student numbers in three years. We are not just growing – we’re in hypergrowth.
I’m not sure if it’s Russell Brand’s recent exchange with Paxman or preparations that Nominet Trust is making for the annual Locality conference but I’ve been thinking a bit about activism – and specifically digital activism - over the last week.
Of course, activism is nothing new – people have been involved in petitions, marches, demonstrations and sit-ins for generations. But the tools have changed and we are increasingly seeing people taking action online to bring about change.
Two Nominet Trust funded projects WikiVOIS and Data Unity have combined forces as they plan an exciting launch of their new websites. The two organisations are holding regional workshops in November in the build up to an official launch in London on 9th December.