Digital evolution, local action: bringing the people and the tools together

Wow! Thank you! Fantastic! Well I would say that wouldn’t I?

After all the planning and tweeting and general anxiety and excitement, yesterday it was our Digital evolution, local action conference.  170 delegates – ready to inspire and be inspired – packed into the BT Centre in London to hear how they can use technology to do more in their communities.
Three great things happened:
– the speakers were great and inspired people to think about what they could do differently
– 95% of what was said I hadn’t heard at a conference before, it was fresh– the speakers
attended all or most of the day and in turn were inspired by the delegates.

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Lord Knight who chaired the conference said “It’s been a fantastic day, and I’ve learned a lot not just from the speakers but from the delegates I’ve been chatting with.  We’ve had a day of talk –  now it’s time for the action. I’m looking forward to hearing from delegates on #dela2012 and on the Community How To about how the tips and tools they’ve taken away are enhancing their impact.”

But it’s probably best to hear from the delegates on what they thought of the day. Kim Wood, from Blackpool CVS said: “We heard from some really brilliant speakers and I’ve got some great ideas to take away.It was great to meet and spend time with other community organisations, and to feel like we’re all part of a bigger picture.  Everyone attending was willing to try every trick in the book – and on the internet – to do more for the people we work with.”

The reaction on Twitter was brilliant too, and these are just a few of the top tweets!
@benaldo: wanted to run on stage and high 5 Ken Banks from @kiwanja at the end of his presentation. #dela2012

@corganisers: #dela2012 finishes. Inspiring day. Now lets get to work. Using all the brill things we have learned today. Thx @UKonlinecentres

@thomtownsend: Thanks for the hard work @ukonlinecentres team-#dela2012 was great. See you again next year hopefully!

I certainly came away feeling really inspired about the great people I met, and the truly brilliant things they’re doing in their communities. One of the last things that was said on stage was that – when using digital tools for volunteering – it’s only 20% about the tools, and 80% about the people.  And I think it’s the same for the conference. Of course the tools are great, and it’s really important that we make the most of them, but it’s the people who are working in their communities, and the people they are supporting, that’s what I’ll remember from yesterday.   

So thanks to everyone who spoke – we’ll be sharing the full conference report, video and slides by the end of this week. Thanks to BT and Nominet Trust for their support in running the conference – we couldn’t have done it without you. But mainly, thanks to all of the delegates who came along and shared your views, asked the difficult questions and inspired all of us. It’s not every conference where the speakers go away inspired by the audience, which I think proves just how great the sector we work in is.  Keep up the good work – and I hope we’ll see you at #dela2013!

Here’s the Storify in case you missed it.

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