Digital mentors picking up speed

Things are starting to pick up with the digital mentors initiative, which is a part of the digital inclusion programme supported by the department for Communities and Local Government.

There is now the option to express an interest in tendering for the money to run the pilots, which is a reasonably healthy £900k. To help support this process, there is a workshop being held at BERR on Victoria Street, London on 19th November between 3 and 5pm.

Further developments have seen UK Online Centres, one of the obvious candidates to put in a bid, reach out to the community being developed at through a blog post by the Managing Director of UKOC, Helen Milner. This is great news – rather than use their own website to push out messages, UKOC are going where the people are to enable collaboration on their bid. Helen wrote:

We all obviously share a passion to ensure that the digital mentor programme is a success, and that it embraces the best of community development and technological innovation. I’m keen to discuss ideas for the programme here on this blog so that we can use open innovation principles to develop a bid together.

Do come to the blog, the wiki and the email list and help out in any way you can.

David Wilcox as ever has his finger on the pulse, and has produced an excellent summary post over at Social Reporter, including pointing out the exciting news that Ruralnet are also keen to be involved. He writes:

UK Online Centres have the local presence, experience and capacity to head up a bid, so I hope they are willing to do that. Ruralnet also have a strong track record through their work with Net:Gain and DirectSupport. Together with independent trainers, consultants and activists we can put together a strong core team, with an oppen invitation to others to join.

There seems to be some real coming together over this: an acknowledgement that a) no single organisation or individual has all the right answers to meet this challenge; and b) that this is too important a project to be allowed to go wrong.

By working together, we can make sure this succeeds.