As part of the Digital Makers programme that we’re developing with Nesta, Mozilla and a range of other partners, I was able to share some of the challenges that this programme is navigating and looking to address at an event at Ravensbourne College on Friday 25th May.
The Design Council in partnership with Nominet Trust have just launched the Working Well Design Challenge. Designers and youth organisations are being invited to join forces to design, build and launch new digital products and services that help young people develop their talents and earn a living.
This week sees the start of my Digital Assistant Academy which will train 18 low income women from diverse backgrounds in new media skills. After a small pilot last winter funded by www.unltd.org.uk , I was lucky enough to get further funding from Nominet Trust to run the Academy again, and this time, to try a blended learning approach, combining on and offline learning.
Designers and youth organisations are being invited to join forces to design, build and launch new digital products and services that help young people secure the opportunities they deserve in a new challenge, launched today by Design Council and Nominet Trust.
I suppose it’s fitting for a project that’s about celebration that I’ve found Celebration 2.0 to be something of a rollercoaster ride, to use a terribly hackneyed cliché. From Roller Derbies to the launch of a Community Health project, I’ve been part of some really diverse events, helping to bring them to wider audiences through live video streaming and social media amplification. And, as the project nears its last lap, it’s pretty much time to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve learned so far.
One of the difficult things about working on Skype or Google Hangout is that it strips us of the social cues that normally oil the wheels of good conversation, that little lean forward, opening of the mouth, intake of breath before someone interjects. (If these social cues don't mean anything to you then you are either spending way too much time online, or bereft of social skills. Either way stop reading this and go and talk to someone immediately)
One of the things we've been exploring at Nominet Trust is how do you replicate a natural flow of conversion when working on video conferencing that just isn't subtle enough to pick up on these?
I remember my first day at the School for Social Entrepreneurs like it was yesterday. 20 of us, all dressed up to the nines, assessing each other, trying to impress, and trying not to give away how nervous we were. Over the next 11 months, these strangers would become friends and colleagues; social businesses would be planned and built, and there would be laughter and tears.
I suggested in yesterday’s post in the Guardian that in order to fulfil the potential of open data for the voluntary sector, we need to reach a critical mass of activity, and that fostering new relationships between technology and charity experts is one way that we’ll get there. So what are we proposing to do about it?