We’re proud to be part of the growing community focussed on Digital Inclusion for all Australians. This community consists of organisations and individuals championing the importance for everyone to participate in the modern, digital world.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have had the pleasure to connect with a number of advocates and champions people running programs to help seniors be digitally included. I was so inspired by these people who are driving the movement nationally that I wanted to share a little about it.
Be Connected Partner Network meetup on the 17th July 2019 - The Be Connected Network now has 2,500 partners across Australia, which is incredible. It was wonderful to meet some of the people from these organisations at the Sydney Be Connected Partner Network Meetup. The diversity of these partners is incredible and reflects the flexibility that the Be Connected program allows for in the delivery of skills. These partners range from Computer Clubs, Retirement Villages, Seniors Centres, Libraries, Councils as well as Men’s Sheds and Technology Trainers. To find out more about becoming a Be Connected Network Partner go to https://www.beconnectednetwork.org.au/ or contact the program managers on (02) 9051 9292.
Digital Mentors: The heart of the digital revolution on the 26th July 2019. This event was hosted by a working group including our friends from Leep NGO, ASCCA and Good Things Foundation Australia as well as Brisbane Seniors Online and Swinburne University of Technology. Over 100 attendees took part with a great mix of experienced individuals who are leaders in this area and others who are bringing new, complementary thinking to help solve the digital divide.
I walked away from both events feeling energised by the work in this space and with 3 particular insights.
There is no single magic solution. In a country as geographically large as Australia, with such a rich cultural diversity, starting with our Indigenous population, solving the digital divide will need persistence and a multi-pronged approach.
Partnering and sharing will be critical to any measurable success on a national scale. The power of harnessing the minds, skills and resources of many to solve this challenge will be greater than trying to solve it on our own. Shared thinking is essential.
Service Providers, Technology Organisations and Government need to step up their game with digital inclusion. These organisations will need to continue to find ways to work with sector champions who are on the ground, like those that were in the room. As a human society, we must retain people at the centre of digital integration. Economic benefits and improved consumer experience can be achieved, however on the opposite spectrum, great economic disadvantage and consumer exclusion occurs for individuals who can’t participate in the digital world.
We will share any further insights and feedback that comes from these events or related activities on our social media channels, so please connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Or you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0408 742 743.
- Richard Scenna