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The Digital Edge - the journey so far

Back in March 2012, we asked social reporter, David Wilcox and youth engagement expert, Tim Davies to lead an innovative piece of research into how technologies can help engage young people in new, more meaningful and relevant ways and support their participation in building a more resilient society.

The outcomes from this process have informed and shaped one of our current investment programmes: The Digital Edge.  This programme aims to identify and invest in projects that can equip young people with the confidence, skills and motivation to address the social challenges that they and future generations face.

But to kick off this process we opened up the floor to you!  Rather than heading into the library to carry out a literature review - we headed to the web and collaborated on tracking down and curating the depth of shared learning on youth employment, enterprise and local civic engagement that is already available.

We were overwhelmed by the response we received.  From contributions to our Google Doc, blog posts, tweets, and active participation at our open event, it was evident that so much good work is already being achieved, but we can and must go further.

Findings from the process

David, Tim and Alex have summarised the key messages from this process in our latest provocation paper. Along the way, David has also been reporting the key milestones and collecting guest posts on his blog, http://socialreporter.com

2nd April: Exploring how young people can use digital tech to find new opportunities
Explaining how David Wilcox and Tim Davies, together with guest bloggers, are exploring this topic online and at an event on April 12 2012. Content will help frame a later funding challenge.

5th April: Brum-style employment opps: mixing empty shops, networking and an app
David Wilcox reports on ideas from Alastair Somerville and others in Birmingham on how to combine empty shops, networking and digital app to help people share skills and find others to work with.

7th April: A contribution on young people and digital technologies
John Popham reflects on his experience of helping young people engage, highlighting the importance of encouraging curiosity, building confidence, and developing the skills of professionals working with young people.

9th April: BIG co-designs its new investment with young people, openly
How the Big Lottery Fund is working with a group  of 16-25 year-olds to help design its new investment in “ideas that will inspire young people in need to build on their strengths and make a difference to their lives and communities”.

9th April: What engagement may really mean
Jonny Zander provides a framework for thinking about different types of engagement: reactive, responsive, strategic, supportive, generative.

10th April: Taking control of our own data, to get and offer what we wish
Alex Stobart on what we need personal data stortes, and benefits for young people.

11th April: 6 ways to use digital tech to support marginalised young people to engage socially and economically in their communities
Joe Roberson, children’s advocate turned copywriter and digital innovator, offers a plan based on his practical experience working with young people, and co-leading the co-led the Innovation Labs project.

11th April: Engagement requires blended facilitation: many methods, co-design, and time
Katie Bacon, director of 
Online Youth Outreach, advocates co-designing any processes, and a blend of methods. One size doesn’t fit all.

12th April: Join us online discussing young people engaging through digital tech
Introduction to the event at RSA on April 12 2012

12th April: Reporting from the DTYP event
First reports from the the event at RSA on April 12 2012

14th April: BLOG by Kat Cormack
Kat Cormack a young person who is a Trainer at Online Youth Outreach has written a blog about her experience attending our event at the RSA on April 12 2012:

15th April: 10 messages in planning digital engagement with young people
Tim Davies summarises messages from the April 12 event

17th April: Digital Engagement Cookbook launched: how might we use it?
Consumer Focus have launched a Digital Engagement Cookbook on a website providing a large directory of engagement methods and guidance on what to use in different situations.

1st May: Young people co-create their own programme with Spark+Mettle
Eugenie Teasley explains how young people co-create programmes with aspirations agency Spark+Mettle.

16th May: Young people explain how social media worked in co-designing with BIG
Charlotte Tizzard, Big Lottery Fund web editor, provides an update on the co-design process with young people that we reported earlier, with their observations.