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Digital iInclusion/Tinder Foundation conference

13th December 2013

Date of the event Wednesday 4th December

Attendees Julie & James

Location BT Centre auditorium London

I had been looking forward to this day for weeks, Julie and I were going to London’s BT Centre at St Paul’s.

7.18am I left Taunton train station on route to London Paddington.

Once I was around 10 miles away from London, I could see that my phone was now displaying a 4G connection, which I was really buzzing about as I have never had an opportunity to experience a 4G speed and I think it has been a real game changer for the technology industry and to all of its users.

Apart from straightforward internet browsing and email access, there is business demand for it in the area of machine to machine communications and this is where 4G excels.

I must say that 4G is significant improvement on 3G, I did a quick test while I was on the train so my results could be at a slight disadvantage due to interference however I was getting 23.7mbs with my 4G switch on and with 4G switched off back on to 3Gg I was getting speeds up to 8.3mbs , so for me the difference is massive.

bt entranceOnce I had reached the BT centre, Julie and I then signed in and went to the auditorium, to the opening conference “Where we are going- Digital Inclusion”, chaired by Lord Knight of Weymouth.

I thought the opening Conference was excellent as the event was assigned the hash tag #digieevloution13 which enabled all of the delegates to ask questions while the conference was taking place.

There were some fantastic speakers I thoroughly enjoyed each one but I was really interested in Google Fibre and Google Loon.

lord knightAfter the update and recognition of achievements, there were then three different workshops for the delegates to attend, so for the first session I decided to attend digital skills for universal credit.

This session was an excellent insight for me to get engaged with people who had experienced challenges within this area. I was able to interact with librarians that were saying they simply don’t have skilled enough staff to be able to deal with people that are digitally excluded. This might be that they aren’t able to input the data into a form and the librarians can’t help them as the form is confidential which will make the individual feel excluded and angry as this is going to affect the future. Once we had highlighted the issues the organisations were having, we then had a further discussion to minimise the effects, which was really engaging for all the people in the workshop as everyone had different ideas, but the root of the problems were funding and there is no quick answer when it comes to funding. After the workshop we then had the chance for networking during lunch. Whilst eating lunch, I had a chance to talk to some inspiring people, one of them being Erica Swanson from Google, it was great to have a conversation with her about Google Fibre and some of the services they are currently providing back in the states.

Once lunch had finished we then headed back to the auditorium panel session where Julie was on the panel to explain what Cosmic does to support and reach people that are digitally excluded.

Julie on stage

What an excellent time to express things we have done in the past at Cosmic, Julie started talking about when we launched the Space Shuttle idea back in 2001.

As part of this overall mission we have a key objective to improve digital inclusion – providing IT support for people and organisations that need it the most.

Cosmic are committed to digital inclusion; we are keenly aware of the issues, challenges and barriers that people encounter in and around IT.

Julie then went on to explain the space shuttle design and what we had inside of our space shuttle.

shuttletop

Meanwhile I tweeted a picture of the space shuttle using the hash tag and everyone in the auditorium really warmed to the idea and were really engaged with the success we had with the project.

Once the panel session had ended I then attend another workshop, this time the topic was fundraising out of the box.

This session was held by matt Haworth from Reason Digital, he started to explain different types of fundraising on website, and how it should be laid out for example there is no point using loads of boring text on why we need the money as people aren't going to engage with that. To some getting the debit card out and entering all there details into the page, is seen as a commendable thing but it takes time and effort. He then showed usreason-mark how we should go about fundraising through our website, for example, giving the customer something back for donating, without it being at a cost to the business. These are all aspects I had never considered and it really got me thinking about what we could be doing more of.

This was of a huge benefit to me as I had never thought too much about the experience of the user when you are asking for a donation on your web page.

After a short break I then headed back into the auditorium for “Social Impact & Social Enterprise – how can people earn money by doing something good”.

The session was opened by a man called John Bird – co Founder of the Big Issue. I loved how he started by taking us through his whole career and experience, it was a really gripping talk as he engaged with the audience well and it left me feeling inspired by the time the session had finished and left me with thoughts to go away with and reflect upon.

Digital-Apprentice---James-Bullweb"I would like to take this opportunity firstly to say thank you to Cosmic and Julie for allowing to me to attend such a great day as I met so many new people and it gave me a real boost and made me feel proud to be employed by a company that is doing its upmost to cater for Digital Inclusion. I’d also like to say a special thank you BT and Tinder for inviting us to attend such a great event with an excellent lunch."

To find out more on the Digital Inclusion/Tinder Foundation Conference, click here.

Blog by James Bull