A key message that we heard throughout our evidence-gathering travels in 2013 was that there is lots of great activity happening to help people get online in communities across Scotland, and that what was needed was some national leadership to build on this active base.
DigiScotFest, held in Edinburgh in June, and DigiScotFest North, held in Strathpeffer last week, have shown that communities are as engaged and vibrant as ever. The DigiScotFest events have been powerful opportunities to bring together people working on digital inclusion both at national and local levels. They have helped SCVO, now tasked with providing national leadership and coordination, understand what’s working on-the-ground and where the problems lie. But they have also helped people to make connections with others who face similar challenges to themselves, and to find out what they’re doing to overcome those challenges.
This week, Get Online Week, has seen the official launch of a range of projects by SCVO that aim to both build momentum for a national drive on digital participation and to support local activity on-the-ground. But this is only the start of the journey. The conversation on what’s happening nationally and what’s happening locally has to continue so that national-level support can be refined and improved for local needs, and so that local experiences and good practice can be shared and scaled up.
The RSE Inquiry team is looking forward to being involved in DigiScotFest Dumfries & Galloway on the morning of 22 October in Dumfries. We hope that the inquiry’s findings and recommendations will be useful in helping to set some context for discussions on next steps in the area. And we would love to see you there. For more information or to register, please get in touch with SCVO at firstname.lastname@example.org.