Following a quick catch-up, with Rich Gwyther at Microsoft's Victoria offices, I had a meeting with Paul Waller and Beatrice Rogers, of the Digital Inclusion Team, which is based at the City of London's Guildhall.
I met Paul at the e-Well Being Awards, a few weeks back, and we agreed a further meeting to discuss the potential for working with Socitm, and also initiatives that Newham has developed, including the Telecommunications Convergence project. Over lunch at the Barbican, Beatrice explained how the programme is being developed with plans for resources and advice to support boroughs' engagement.
From discussions to date, it is apparent that a key issue is what is meant by "digital inclusion". The DigiTeam's definition is spelt-out at its website, which also contains, on the front page, a thought-provoking slide-show, set to music, called, funnily enough, "Think about it…"
I am very keen for Socitm to engage in this important agenda which, to my mind, is closely linked to convergence, social computing and the "network of networks". The Society has more immediate organisational priorities in-hand, but I thought we should be in good shape to engage around September/ October, which seems to fit well with Paul's and Beatrice's plans.
We also agreed I would arrange a visit to Newham to review some of the work we've done, and, hopefully to meet our new Chief Executive – but I hope to meet him myself, first!
I returned to Newham, and a meeting with Geoff for a general update and to discuss next steps now the Newham Telecommunications Convergence project has gained Mayoral approval. We agreed an approach to the development of invitation(s) to tender for the infrastructure build and the set-up of a special purpose vehicle to operate the network and services.
I'm glad to say that Steven Noels accepted my invitation to speak at Socitm '08, and it also looks like we have a good speaker from Consulting to fill the Green IT slot that I wanted – so I'm hoping that Ken and Vicky can put the agenda to bed now I've done all the hard work! (Only joking, guys.)
I'm on holiday, now, until next Tuesday, 17th. See you then!