Starting a new exploration: young people using digital tech to discover new opportunities

I’ve just started a new project with Tim Davies, on behalf of Nominet Trust, to explore how digital technologies can support young people to engage socially and economically with their communities – and we need your help.

The Trust will shortly be launching a major new funding challenge on this topic, and as I explained on my blog here originally suggested a provocative paper to start discussion. I’m delighted that has now turned into a crowdsourced exercise in which we are generating some key message or propositions for discussion at a meeting in London next Thursday morning, April 12. Drop me a line if you would like an invite.

From the meeting we’ll refine and report the messages, and develop a paper. In addition we’ll be pulling together existing research, reports from events, and other ideas that might be useful to anyone developing proposals for the challenge.

There’s more detail about the process here, on the Nominet Trust site, and we have already started gathering some messages on a Google doc here, which you can easily add to. Just to give you the flavour, here’s some headlines.

  • Focus on people, not platforms: the most important investments to make are in the skills of staff and volunteers to use any tool they can for engagement
  • Be network literate and encourage the connections:  equip young people with the confidence and skills to seek out new opportunities, relationships and economic well-being
  • Encourage co-design: The only way to create services for young people is in collaboration with young people
  • Consider the emerging economic landscape: what skills will be essential for jobs in the future.
  • Digital technologies could help engage young people in local neighbourhood forums
  • The best digital innovations might be in the back-office
  • We all need to rethink what we mean by ‘communities’ if we’re to support young people
  • Forget the web: the only way to reach young people is through mobile

Agree? Disagree? Please head over to the doc and add your thoughts. We’ll be providing more updates here as the project develops.

If you have other ideas that might be worth a blog post, do drop a comment, or email me.

I’m delighted – but not surprised – that Nominet Trust are supporting the idea of an open exploration. It’s very much in line with the creative, co-design approaches that the challenge will be encouraging.

I’m posting and exploring in detail on socialreporters.net, rather than my personal blog, because I hope we can make this the home for further explorations, after the success of our work with Big Lottery Fund.

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