Workshop reports from Inventing the Future seminar

These workshop reports were prepared following the seminar on February 23 1999.

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Motivating Local Government in Cyberspace

Facilitator: Geoff Walker

1. Issues to be addressed

2. Factors for success

3. Priorities which may help (or hinder) the process of change

4. The advantages of community partnerships


Facilitator Malcolm Forbes

In general we did not feel there were particular differences between online partnership issues and any other form of partnership. The online technology could be a double edged sword lending an attractiveness or sexy element to proposed joint endeavour but can also be fear inducing for some potentialpartners.

Two main reasons for entering into partnerships:

  1. For resources in the widest sense (ie not just money could be skills,content etc)
  2. To develop expanded/enhanced or new services

Issues to consider in relation to forming partnerships (In no particular order)

Getting the balance of relative priorities right:
Each partner will have their own priorities - need to check that these are compatible and will move forward the joint endeavour.
Need to have trust in the partner
Profit vs Not for Profit:
Can they co-exist in partnership. This may be a question of ideology but will probably come back down to whether the partners have compatable aims and do they trsut each other.
Useful to have a partner with a reputation (example of the BBC here) that will help the joint endeavour move forward (faster)
Capacity to deliver:
This needs to be assessed realistically not just for your potential partners but for yourself as well in the context of the capacity of the proposed partners.

Involving the Private Sector

Facilitator David Greenop

 Issues raised and discussed

  1. What do we mean by the term 'private sector'
  1. Attitude to Private Sector
  1. All business want to do business with members of the community.
  1. On-Line business environment is rapidly changing and there is no sign of stable commercial models appearing.
  1. Private Sector looking for Innovation
  1. Key messages for working with private sector

Resourcing community networking

Facilitator Kevin Harris

Main benefits

How paid for


Relationships to other initiatives


Facilitator Simon Berry

  1. This is a people thing - trainers need to know as much about community development and as they do about technology. Local champions need to be entrepreneurial in the sense that they need to understand people's needs and respond appropriately to them.
  2. ICT training can be a key motivator for people to get involved in a training programme. It is seen to 'of the moment' and amongst adults it is not associated with 'past failure'.
  3. Innovative delivery mechanisms are important (eg resource centres/telecentres can offer more that dedicated training centres, such as 'pathways' to employment or self employment or community enterprise/action).
  4. ICT training needs to linked to a purpose (ie a tool/mechanism to improve employment prospects). ICT training in a vacuum (ie without understanding the application) is not generally successful.
  5. Accredited qualifications (and therefore funding) lags way behind need (eg it is only recently that there is a recognised basic Internet qualification).
  6. There needs to be a mechanism for the sharing to training materials and techniques developed because the lack of appropriate 'accredited' courses/materials.
  7. It is recognised that things developed in one community might not be transferable (lock stock and barrel) to other communities. However, there is a requirement to develop 'criteria for successful transfer'.
  8. Training is not a one-off exercise. On-going support is a requirement.
  9. There is a need for the training of key decision makers (eg funders, strategic planners etc) so that they can make informed decisions about appropriate training interventions.
  10. Additional point on target audiences: