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Race for Digital Inclusion

• Do you want to be a part of creating life enhancing opportunities for the 4 million individuals who have never been online?
• Are you working on an innovative, inspirational or educational Digital Inclusion projects?

If you answered yes to those questions than this automatically entitles you to become a partner of Race Online 2012 and access the online Race Online 2012 partner toolkits which include a Race Online 2012 certificate, online media and communication materials to help you promote your initiatives and spread the word, plus access to the Race Online 2012 web news feed offering 24/7 digital inclusion news updates.

There is both a moral and economic imperative for the wider community to take the issue of digital inclusion much for seriously. It's also essential to business that the UK is near 100% online as this will create efficiency savings, attract investment, open opportunities and improve work force skills. 

Race Online 2012 wants any organisation of any size to get involved and help tackle the issue. From encouraging business partners to sign up, to teaching friends and family to get online, or by donating old IT equipment locally - there are opportunities for all businesses to make a difference. It's simple to sign up and it only takes five minutes to register.

Please click on this link http://raceonline2012.org/get-involved to become an official Race Online 2012 partner, where you can explain what your organisation is doing or can do to help make the UK one of the first countries in the world to establish a fully online, internet enabled society.

Picture: A man and a woman sitting at a computer with a yellow poster covering the entire wall behind them which reads 'Inclusion Digital' with thanks to CampusParty for publishing on Flickr under a Creative Commons license some rights reserved.

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Tiny ID or QR Codes?
Transformed By You - Washing Up
Innovation Food for Thought
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BIN MASTER - THE POWER OF THE FRIDGE MAGNET


A fridge magnet using GPS to get real time information on recycling

An idea developed at Transformed by You on Campus

What is the problem?

There is currently a lack of understanding and easy access to real time information on bins and recycling. Therefore the group came up with a solution in the form of a ‘fridge magnet’ device. It can be available as an application for iPhone


Who is this for?

People who have little time

How would the idea work?


With a light at the top of the screen, this will flash red when there are new updates and green when it is collection day. It would provide updates – News on bin services, latest news in the community as well as a calendar which will be colour coded with when collection days are and what time.

For special collections, there would be a special box where you can type in a query about a special collection, for example if you need furniture removing, which will be sent straight to the specific recycling department.

It would use Google Maps for GPS tracking of where the bin vans are to avoid traffic, as well as a function where you can order new bins liners and bins. ‘Other information’ option will allow the user to find out about which products and materials can be recycled and which bin they go in, an FAQ section, allow them to report vandalism and where their nearest recycling centres are.

In terms of changing behaviours, the magnet would link to an online dashboard and send SMS/email alerts whoing a progress chart where individuals can track how much they have recycled compared to their neighbours.

The team believed that this could one day be essential kit for the household and could be rolled out to different services, for example Kent Highway Services.

This could cut down phone calls to the Contact Centre regarding collection dates.

What is needed to make this idea successful?


- A special thank you to a picture of an idea from http://transformedbyyou.uservoice.com and a picture of a fridge magnet from Gadget Reviews.

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BIN MASTER - THE POWER OF THE FRIDGE MAGNETSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

LET'S GET DIGIT WITH IT


What is the problem?

Kent County Council is required to publicise and promote information on positive leisure time activities and related facilities in the county and to keep it up to date. KCC does this currently using a database driven directory website (www.togogo.info).

But what else could we be doing with digital technologies to give young people quicker and more convenient access to information and things to do and places they can go? The overall goal is to encourage more young people to participate in “positive activities”.

What would they find cool, naff, useful, easy, valuable…? What’s important to them?

How can digital technologies be used to promote positive things to do to teenagers in Kent?

Who is this for?

Young people

How would the idea work?


It would be a website driven by quarterly live music festivals promoting positive activities to teenagers.

Using Bluetooth ‘chip’ wristband and a ‘DigiMe’ account would enable people to update their events and receive further promotions, as well as volunteer in exchange for free gig tickets.

What is needed to make this idea successful?

- A special thank you to a picture of an idea from http://transformedbyyou.uservoice.com.

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GRADLINK - CONNECTING THE PEOPLE THAT MATTER


Connecting job seekers and employers to provide support for unemployed graduates 

An idea developed at Transformed by You on Campus

What is the problem?

Every year over 11,000 students graduate from universities in Kent, and many more return to the county after finishing degrees elsewhere in the UK. Currently, only 30% of local graduates go on to find employment in the county, which means a huge loss of talent for local businesses in Kent. It is vital that Kent retains more skilled graduates if our local economy is to grow over the future years. But how best do we encourage them to stay?

The problem seems to be two-fold:

It is not always easy for graduates to find information about local graduate jobs, particularly for those who have not studied locally.

It is not always easy for businesses to access information about local graduates and match graduate skills to their business needs.

Is there a way of using technology to match up local graduates with local businesses, and encourage more employers to recruit graduates?

How can digital technologies be used to increase graduate retention in Kent?

Who is this for?

Graduates looking for work and employers in need of graduates.

How would the idea work?


It would be a website that connects graduates seeking employment and potential employers in one place.


  
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TIME WELL SPENT - A POINTS BASED SYSTEM TO REWARD VOLUNTEERING



An online tool offering a points based rewards system for volunteering

An idea developed at Transformed by You on Campus


What is the problem?

Voluntary groups need volunteers with a range of professional or specialist skills to help run certain aspects of their organisations. KCC is running a Volunteer Your Skills campaign. The campaign aims to help attract people to volunteer their specialist skills and expertise and match these skills with the needs of voluntary groups and organisations. www.kent.gov.uk/volunteeryourskills

Things to consider:
  • The campaign covers all age groups and people from all sorts of backgrounds.
  • The main skills identified by voluntary groups were: finance and funding, marketing, IT and computing and trustees.
  • The main things we need to do are:
  • Make it easy and convenient for people with skills to register their availability
  • Be able to match up vacancies with available skills
  • The solution needs to consider the needs of the volunteers, the needs of the voluntary organisation looking for the skills and the role of intermediary or broker agencies such as a Volunteers Centre

How can digital technologies be used to help voluntary organisations reach volunteers with professional and specialist skills?


Who is this for?

People with specialist skills who have time and organisations who are in demand of these skills

How would the idea work?

The purpose is to develop a volunteering program in Kent, supported by local businesses which will hopefully help build community spirit through offering a points based rewards system.

Primarily a web service but a reliable phone services will be offered in libraries, job centres and through SMS messages for those without access to the internet.

The website will allow users to set up a profile, look for volunteers and volunteering opportunities, invite a friend and claim rewards from sponsors. Volunteers will enter various details such as name, skills and availability. Opportunists will enter basic details and any opportunities available.

CRB checks will also be put in place through the Kent Volunteer Bureau. New members will get complimentary points. Points are also calculated by multiplying the volunteer’s star rating by the time spent on the opportunity. Points are then exchanged for rewards.

The rewards – various sponsors will offer a variety of products and services for a set amount of points, for example cinema tickets. The sponsors in return will receive free publicity and advertising to the whole community.

The rating experience will be two-way. Joint rating based on a five star system would be encouraged.

What can be done to make the idea successful?


A special thank you to a picture of an idea from http://transformedbyyou.uservoice.com.

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MAGNIFEYE - REPORT IT, RATE IT AND REWARD IT







An idea developed at Transformed by You on Campus

What is the problem?
Community safety means cutting crime and the fear of crime as well as reducing the effects of nuisance, antisocial behaviour, drug misuse, fires and road accidents - all the things that harm people or affect their quality of life.

Kent is generally a safe place to live and work.  A safe community is one that is free from crime and the fear of crime and from antisocial behaviour. It is a community where people feel safe in their homes and safe on the street; where they are protected from dangers like fire and where their children can go to school without being bullied. 

The things that affect our quality of life are linked to a huge range of different social and economic factors. Education, health, housing, poverty, family life, truancy, policing, social exclusion and employment all play a part in creating the sort of environment that either feels safe or unsafe. It is because the root causes are so varied that we tackle these issues by working with many other organisations that play a part in our communities, as well as with voluntary agencies and local neighbourhoods. 

How can digital technologies be used to support community safety and help make people feel safer where they live?

Who is this for?

People who need to report problems in their neighbourhood.

How would the idea work?

It would allows users to report graffiti, anti-social behaviour, etc in their community. Linked in with Google maps to allow users to exactly pinpoint the area of interest. Users of the application will also be able to identify problem ‘hot spots’ and areas where pro-social behaviour is being carried out.


What can be done to make the idea successful?






A special thank you to pictures of smart phones showing the application: with thanks to students from the University of Kent.

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Best of the Links

The sun is finally shining, and I am really hoping it stretches out into the weekend.  For now though, here are my favourite links of the week, a mixture of events, qr codes, iphone apps and social media goodies, enjoy.


  • Last but not least the Go London Innovation Competition finals are today which has aimed to encouraged people to think about how they can get active and challenged Londoners to put forward their ideas on how they can get moving.  Follow @Go_London or use the hashtag #golondon to follow the progress of the event on Twitter!
 
- Kirsty Russell


Picture: A business card with a large barcode/qr-code on it with thanks to Chandra_Marsono for publishing on Flickr under a Creative Commons license some rights reserved.

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Adopt a New Way of Thinking
Uncovering Support
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UNCOVERING SUPPORT


I asked a blogpost ago how groups developing ideas in workshops can build momentum for their ideas and make them sustainable after the excitement of the event.



The best evidence I've seen so far is the mapping carried out on the Big Green Challenge. What was striking from the findings was the need to 
"uncover what support these communities need to transform their bright ideas into viable solutions...and work through strong relationships and existing networks"
What might this mean in practice though?
Uncover what support these communities need to transform their bright ideas into viable solutions

It can be tempting to pre-define what package of support should be offered to groups. However, without knowing in advance what ideas or even prototypes they will develop or who will be part of these groups, this approach can be counterproductive. It also means participants are less likely to feel collective ownership over the process of taking forward the prototypes.

On the other hand, not providing any options for further support would make it harder for the prototypes to be developed further and the relationship between ourselves and the groups would be confused.

Would a combination of support for peer networking and signposting to structured support from other appropriate organisations be enough?

Work through strong relationships and existing networks

The Big Green Challenge research suggests signposting the groups to organisations related to their challenge area who the event organisers have a strong relationship with could work - especially with community embedded intermediaries some more institutionalised (such as community action networks) and others more self organised (i.e. meetups). It also recommends encouraging groups to make use of their own relationships to take forward their prototypes.


So, which of the following does it make the most use to showcase the prototypes to?
  • Self organising groups to work out if their meetups can provide a space for continuing the conversation around how to take forward the prototypes.
  • Corporate boards to showcase a new way of getting people’s ideas and making the best use of their skills to suggest new approaches to developing digital services
  • Economic and technology boards to showcase the prototypes to
  • Investors to showcase ways of taking ideas which become investment-ready
  • Pre-commercial procurement initiatives



What next?


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Who said all pop-ups need to be blocked?
All consuming Google?
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ON THE MOVE - QR CODES OR TINY ID?



An idea developed at Transformed by Yo
What is the problem?

How can people quickly get information on local services on the move

Who is this for?

People constantly on the go

How would the idea work?


Use QR codes whereby smartphones would take a picture of the QR code, translates it into a url and takes you to the webpage – it’s the ‘evolution of the barcode’.

Possible uses:
  • Exploring local areas of local interest and history: To replace boards (QR code could send you to google map of exactly where you are, more information that wouldn’t find onto a board, options for different languages, etc).
  • Planning applications: Lamppost outside house, take a picture and it takes you to the planning application online that you could then read at home.
  • Church/community information board, bus stops: Not sure where you are, QR code would include geographical information of where you are and just ask where you want to go.
  • Library books: Replace barcode with QR code which would then take you a website where you can find out when the book is due back, which library it is from, where you can buy the book online, etc.
  • Blind and visually impaired: More here
What is needed to make this idea successful?

Research market penetration data and raise awareness within potential services that may benefit.

What can be done to make the idea successful?

Build on the day by carrying out further research to help define business cases for projects

Chris Orton has researched market penetration data for QR Codes here and here for smart phones 


He has also suggested an alternative for mobile phones, called tiny_id.

See the diagram below and tell us what you think?





ON THE MOVE - QR CODES OR TINY ID?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

DESTINATION OPPORTUNITY - GET ON THE LEARNING BUS




Put entertainers on buses to connect older people on community activities



An idea developed at Transformed by You on Campus

What is the problem?

Why are groups defined as “hard to reach” by councils actually hard to reach? – is it that the groups are hard to reach or are the services limited?



Who is this for?

Hard to reach groups, older people and bus passengers.

How would the idea work?



The idea is that we talk to bus companies and public services and we put on existing bus routes some entertainers – poets, Kent Fire Service (how to check your fire alarm), gardeners who are interesting in setting up etc.

The benefits for public services are more custom, social responsibility, a lot from sponsorship, captive audiences – possibly those who are hard to reach as well as older people who will already have free bus passes.

Passengers have a more interesting journey and benefit from community information. At the end of route, the destination is related to what has been spoken about on the journey.

Passengers could vote on topics and possibly book slots on journey. For example, 6 minutes to talk about cookery.

It could be used for "weeding" trips - where pupils would visit the older local residents and help them out, in return for those people coming in to school to talk about their life experiences.

What is needed to make this idea successful?

Need champions like parish councils and community groups, as well as a trial run over a short journey to see if the idea could work in practice.

What can be done to make the idea successful?


Build on the day by carrying out further research to help define business cases for projects

Research demographic information that bus services may have about passengers on certain routes

Look at existing examples of where this may have worked, such as here.


DESTINATION OPPORTUNITY - GET ON THE LEARNING BUSSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

QUESTION TIME - WHAT WOULD YOU ASK YOUR COUNCIL?










An idea developed at Transformed by You on Campus


What is the problem?

‘Local government do not know what or listen to what the citizens want or need’. Citizens want a real, open, transparent conversation (“we want a dialogue not a monologue”) with local government on subjects that matter to communities, as voted on by the communities. 








QUESTION TIME - WHAT WOULD YOU ASK YOUR COUNCIL?SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

TRANSFORMED BY YOU - WASHING UP



Coming next week, we will be showing you all the ideas and prototypes developing at our Transformed by You events.

The first we organised with local people working with Medway Council and their Innovation Centre with support on facilitation from David Wilcox and Amy Sample Ward. The second followed swiftly with students in partnership with the University of Kent and with the facilitation help of Simone Jaeger, Eleanor Ford and Gavin O'Carroll. Who knows there may be more!

As a special teaser, here's the first prototype, aptly called call of duty and the start of a conversation on how we can tackle some of the tensions how we influence change in our own organisations when we return to the ranch after these events.

The slideshow provides an introduction to Transformed by You and shows some of the processes used.

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