The sun is shining, the world is full of amazing talented and committed people, and I am very positive about the future. I had a fantastic afternoon today meeting centre managers, learners, community leaders and some of our great partners at what was a very special day for us – the launch of our three year strategy, and the reveal of our new name – Tinder Foundation.
Our new strategy is an ambitious one. Last week I heard Dame Stephanie “Steve” Shirley give a speech about her journey as a woman working in the technology sector and her inspiring philanthropy to grow the Technology For Good movement. Dame Steve said: “Technology does not drive change, it enables change.” And I was reminded of this today when talking about the impact we’re having, helping people to help others to use technology to make a positive change to their lives.
The four elements of our strategy starts, with a passion to continue to evolve and improve our digital inclusion work, together with our 5000+ hyper-local partners, and with a vision that everyone in the UK can benefit from what digital technology offers. The UK online centres network is absolutely vital to us and meeting some inspiring centre representatives today reminded me again of the important work that is happening daily in local communities.
Having started out helping people to learn digital skills we will extend that to learning other things, be it English and Maths, or baking and gardening. This is new work for us, building on our findings from the eReading Rooms pilot (our final report is published today – here). For those people who don’t think learning is for them, we will help them to find out what interests them, and access that learning on the internet. We will work with thousands of local partners who will offer a friendly guide, on hand and an informal and local place in which to learn. We want to inspire people to not just learn about digital but to use digital to open up their interests and passions and to learn everything and anything via the web.
Why stop with individuals? Our third strand is to extend our community impact work, building on what we’ve achieved with our Community Hubs, and the Community How To website, to support organisations to benefit from digital technology relevant to what they do locally. So that they can do more and achieve more, and more quickly.
And lastly (but not least) we will work with government, and other organisations such as social housing providers, to help them to design digital strategies. Helping citizens and customers to use these fantastic services, which ties neatly into our digital inclusion work as well!
We will always be open in what we do and how we do it, and seek out partners so that together we can achieve much more than we could do alone.
To match this ambitious new strategy, we felt we needed a new name that would reflect our exciting future. And so from today, Online Centres Foundation has regenerated, just like Dr Who, into Tinder Foundation. The new name was a result of a vote by the Members of our Mutual. The name reflects how we help to spark activity at a local level, which then grows to something far greater than we could achieve on our own. Don’t worry about the product/service names that you love – UK online centres, Community How To, and Learn my way – they remain and we intend to nurture and evolve each one.
As Tinder Foundation we can now grow, diversify and become a sustainable organisation. We will always keep to our core aim – to make good things happen with digital technology.
So with our new name, and our new strategy, and lots of partners wanting to help, the future really does look bright!
If you’re eager to know more about Tinder Foundation, our new website is here.