Tag Archives: DTYE

Nominet Trust announces Digital Edge project funding

Here’s the slightly belated news that Nominet Trust recently announced funding of more than £1 million for the first round of projects under the Digital Edge programme.

You can see the background provocation paper here that helped inform the programme, written by socialreporters, Tim Davies, Alex Farrow and me. Some terrific projects are under way, bearing out the innovative ideas we discovered during our exploration. There’s now another call for proposals, which you can see here.

The announcement or current funding:

Following an unprecedented number of applications, the Trust has awarded 14 organisations more than £1 million to support their work in using technology to improve young people’s participation in society.

With close to a million young people unemployed and prospects for full time employment bleak, internships and other low-paid work placements have become a vital way to boost employment prospects. But expensive rent or travel costs often prevent young people from taking advantage of such opportunities.

Room for Tea, one of the 14 organisations receiving funding, connects guests in need of short-term, affordable accommodation in London with hosts who have a spare room in their homes.  This project has the potential to benefit young jobseekers while also reducing the social isolation often felt by older people living on their own.  Nominet Trust investment will enable Room for Tea to develop its online platform and expand its reach to a wider number of potential young beneficiaries.

Catch22 is another organisation that has been approved for funding. Their project comprises an app that encourages young people to make a positive contribution to their community – such as keeping their neighbourhood clean – and in the process helps them to discover and develop the soft skills and confidence needed when applying for a job.

Annika Small, Nominet Trust CEO, commented:  “Digital technology offers new ways for young people to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents.  Importantly it can help young people to connect with the wider community, whether that is active participation in their local neighbourhood or contributing to an online group. This in turn can boost their skills and confidence which will help when it comes to applying for a job.

“At Nominet Trust, we are excited to be supporting so many forward-thinking organisations. From creating new forms of online skills exchange and reward, new connections that increase young people’s access to resources and networks of support, or new ways of showcasing talents and experience to future employers, these projects are demonstrating how digital technology has the potential to broaden young people’s horizons and improve their social and economic participation.”

Brum-style employment opps: mixing empty shops, networking and an app

Here’s a fascinating set of ideas about how to combine empty shops, networking and the power of digital technology to help people share skills and find others to work with.

It came to me courtesy of our crowdsourcing programme on behalf of the Nominet Trust, and Twitter. As explained earlier, Tim Davies and I are helping explore how digital technologies can support young people to engage socially and economically with their communities. This will help frame a later funding challenge.

As you’ll see Alastair Somerville picked up our call for ideas, via a tweet from James Grant.

Alastair then sent me a couple of documents that he developed following presentations and discussion at the recent Birmingham TEDx event  - and they are fascinating. I called Alastair and he agreed I could publish them.

One describes how empty shops could be used for meeting, learning, working, and the other is a concept for a phone app that would survey and profile people’s skills, and allow the data to be mapped locally.

The underlying idea is that the world is changing so fast it is difficult to train and educate people in ways that will slot them into jobs in offices and other workspaces. We need something much more flexible.

The established way of employing the unemployed is through Job Centres.

These places try to fit people to listed jobs. For people with little experience or specific knowledge, the process is dispiriting since it tries to rework the human to meet the task.

Perhaps, it would be better to reverse the situation.

Instead of offices that demand people come in and negotiate down their skills and interests to meet specific jobs and roles, maybe we can create places where people with shared knowledge and skills can meet up to show their capabilities and to work with others to make new types of jobs and businesses.

With Alastair’s permission I uploaded his documents to Slideshare, as you can see here. The TEDx Brum video link is here – with relevant content about 4.35. Alastair says that it was @poikos (Eleanor) discussion of Debrouillard that really set him thinking.

I hope that we may get more from the group in Birmingham behind these ideas, and they will bring to the surface others from around the country. There’s now a couple of Twitter account for the ideas - @SKILLxShop and @SKILLxShare – and we are talking about some online conferencing to take things forward.

It’s wonderful how open and generous people can be with their ideas in a crowd sourcing process … and that’s even before the funding challenge has started.

Our tag for tweets is #DTYE – digital technology youth employment